A Critical Heart

Matthew 12:34 "You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks."

Proverbs 27:15 "A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day."

What kind of heart do you have? Are you critical of everyone, and everything? Do you only see "problems" or "issues"? Do you only see what is "wrong" (at least in your opinion)? Do you walk into a beautiful room and instantly your eyes focus on the one thing that is out of place? Is 90% of something great, but you just can't keep thinking about the 10% you don't like? Do you typically point out what things "need to be fixed" rather than praising the things that are going well? Do people with problems tend to find you?

Did you answer yes to many of these questions? Then you may have a critical heart.

Here is my thought on this issue; we as Christians should be praisers not criticiers! A critical heart is when negativity takes over your life and all you see is problems, issues, things that need to change, things that need to be improved, things that are wrong, etc. Years ago I had a leader like this on our student ministry team... all he did was bring me problems. Problems he had, problems kids had, problems parents had... it was wearing me out. (side note: He was the only one of 50 leaders doing this ... it wasn't an issue of legitimate issues that needed to be addressed ... he was the only one bringing me all the issues) I found I was becoming less and less effective because I was so beat down until I told him, "stop bringing me only problems, bring me answers, solutions, praise reports... help me out here! Help me to help these kids. Help me minister to these kids, and stop being THE PROBLEM and be the ANSWER." He did, and wow we saw a major upswing in the vibe of the leadership team! He actually became my number one leader!

Here is a reality in life we must all understand ... nothing in life is perfect, or ever will be perfect, or just the way we think it ought to be. So focus on what you do like and get busy making the world around you better and stop being a critical nag of those around you.

Trust me, I have had, and do have critical nags in my life (not my wife!) and they are like a constant dripping ... they wear you out, wear you down, they take the wind out of your sails. And if I am honest, I get as far away from them as I can!

Disclaimer: Obviously I am not talking about people who are trying to help you improve things. Duh! There is a HUGE difference between constructive criticism and someone having a critical heart.

Here is how you can tell the difference: If the person compliments and praises as much if not more than they criticize, then they are just trying to help. But if they primarily only criticize, then they suffer from a critical heart.

So what am I challenging you to do? Be a support to people around you! Encourage them, praise them, believe the best about them, help them, love them ... and stop being so dang critical! You are only beating them down and destroying their self-esteem.

Jesus was gracious ... Luke 4:22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. "Isn't this Joseph's son?" they asked.

Love more!