Teaching Good Things

Practical Skills for Real Life

Teaching Good Things - Practical Skills for Real Life

The Disease That Will Destroy Your Home

Close up on a Lamp and the Coush in a House

Most marriages can not survive with it and children will NEVER thrive with it. Families, friendships and churches are destroyed because of it.  It is the curse of a critical spirit.

What is a critical spirit?

Criticism can be anything from belittling, condemning, demanding, fault-finding, nagging, sarcasm, and scolding disapprovingly. A critical spirit is an obsessive attitude of fault-finding and judging others unfairly.

Criticism is destructive. It destroys the harmony of the home, and it destroys relationships.

Some of us can slap a religious label on our criticism and feel justified about our words and attitudes while we infect others with our ugly pride.

Women are especially good at criticism, and it goes hand in hand with nagging and even more-so it embraces gossip.

Plenty of men deal with a strong spirit of criticism too; it strokes their ego.

Criticism, nagging, complaining… it comes naturally and it is contagious.

A nagging critical spirit destroys relationships, leaving nothing but pain, anger and loneliness in it’s path.  This disease of criticism comes from the tip of the tongue.

“And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.” James 3:6

Men will pridefully use a critical spirit to cover for their insecurities. They want others to view them as smarter, better looking, richer, stronger than others. The quickest way to obtain this supposed superiority is to belittle others, to criticize them. Unfortunately, they don’t understand that this attitude brings them down to the lowest of all levels.

The wives of know-it-all, critical husbands will become emotionally withdrawn and in time, bitter. They will dread public and family gatherings as he lets everyone know he is the ‘expert’. His children will usually grow up to be playground bullies.

For women, a critical spirit is usually about control. They want to manipulate everyone to look and act as they believe to be “right”.  Gossip will usually rule the tongue of a critical woman as she longs for others to agree with her.

With her furrowed brow  and haughty eyes she will drive her husband to the roof top (Prov. 21:9), physically and emotionally to escape from her constant nagging. Her children will rise up and never call her blessed, they will run as far as they can as soon as they can.

People grow weary of the critical person and will distance themselves as soon as they can.

There is a constructive criticism. It is used in a spirit of love and it is meant to lead, encourage and guide; not point fingers and scold.

  • Do you find yourself correcting the children in harsh tones all day?   When you correct them are you using negative words?
  • Are you always pointing out what your husband is doing wrong? Are you dwelling on his shortcomings all day?
  • Do you leave church commenting on how bad the sermon was, or criticizing someone’s behavior or appearance?
  • The things you point out, are they sin or your preference?
  • The things that drive you crazy about someone, are they unchangeable things about their personality? And should it be YOUR place to change those things?

A critical spirit that is not rooted in love and truth is sin.  It is nothing but pride… a selfish pride, a pride that says you know best. A pride that says you can change and control others.

A critical spirit that is rooted in love seeks God’s truth.  When there is constructive criticism it is for the person’s own good and done so with kindness.

Break the Chains

Some of us may have come from a home where there was constant criticism, with name calling and belittling that may have included anger or not.

Some of us may have grown up with no words of encouragement to lead us rightly and with no unconditional love.

Some may have grown up watching parents with no respect towards each other.

Maybe your critical spirit has been nurtured by your circle of friends or co-workers. Criticism is very contagious.

You will have to make some courageous and wise choices, not only for your sake, but for the sake of your family… AND for the sake of the gospel.  You will need to exercise self-control as you learn a new way to respond to situations. And a new way to lead others to wise choices.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

How to Fight the Disease of Criticism:

Take Your Thoughts Captive

  • What you are dwelling on, is it true?
  • Are you believing the best about the person?

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

“…whatever is true … honorable … just … pure … lovely … commendable, if there is any excellence … anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

Don’t Be a Hypocrite

  • Hold yourself to the same standard you hold others to.

  “…first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”  Matt 7:5

Meekness, Gentleness and Love

  • Always be willing to evaluate YOUR reaction.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4

Love:

  • patient and kind
  • does not envy or boast
  • not arrogant  or rude
  • not insist on its own way
  • not irritable or resentful
  • does not rejoice at wrongdoing
  • rejoices with the truth
  • bears all things
  • believes all things
  • hopes all things
  • endures all things
  • Love never ends.

                                                        1 Corinthians 13:4-8

“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands” (Proverbs 14:1).

I believe a woman has much power in the home and in training up her children and encouraging those around her simply with her words and attitude.

Are we aggressively and verbally beating others down or are we gently leading them, admonishing them to pursue righteousness?

We are setting the pace for everyone else. Guard your tongue. Guard your home! This is one of the greatest battlefields of spiritual warfare… let’s fight to win for the Kingdom’s sake!

 

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  • Mom of 3 says:

    Thank you so much for posting this, very convicting.

    01/24/2014 at 9:22 pm
  • Elsa Klee says:

    Thank you for a great article!

    Shalom,
    Elsa

    01/25/2014 at 6:51 am
  • Jan George says:

    You need to differentiate between criticism and a critical spirit. Criticism is a healthy academic process; and to be blindly uncritical is just as destructive as excessive, merciless or gleeful criticism. Dictators have risen to power by selective use of criticism whilst stamping it underfoot in others. Derek Prince spoke very well on this subject and his sermons are all available by searching.

    01/25/2014 at 7:58 am
    • Kathy says:

      I agree that we need to judge rightly. I did say,
      “There is a constructive criticism. It is used in a spirit of love and it is meant to lead, encourage and guide; not point fingers and scold.”

      And again,
      “A critical spirit that is not rooted in love and truth is sin. It is nothing but pride… a selfish pride, a pride that says you know best. A pride that says you can change and control others.

      A critical spirit that is rooted in love seeks God’s truth. When there is constructive criticism it is for the person’s own good and done so with kindness.”

      01/25/2014 at 5:57 pm
  • Terry Lawson says:

    Very Good! More folks need to hear this and very worth while to share. So allow me to say I appreciate your sharing and I hope this continues to Bless many hearts out ther young & old, as I feel this message is ageless!! … I hope others will continue to share, thanks so much! May the rest of your week be POSITIVE & PRODUCTIVE!!.. God Bless.

    01/26/2014 at 5:27 pm
  • Debbie says:

    Wow! Very timely and I am very convicted! Thank you for being willing to speak the truth! ♡

    01/27/2014 at 9:31 am
  • Linda Chapman says:

    Thank you for writing this. Have been praying about this for quite some time. It’s something my flesh seems to hang onto like there’s no tomorrow. I grew up with it & haven’t shaken the “pay-off” (whatever that is) yet. Am going to study this & do some meditating. There’s absolutely no reason for me to continue demonstrating this attitude. It’s time I grew up here. I needed this!

    01/27/2014 at 1:48 pm
  • Sue Conran says:

    I was recently convicted of complaining and criticism and am being led to pray for the person who I am struggling with, harder to rush past all those prayers to continue down a slippery slop I don’t belong on. I am very serious about my life witness to those around me so this is the way to ‘check’ it for me. Without heeding this warning I would not only be harming my witness, my own desires for my life of growth in grace but also disbelieving my own dear Lord’s full provision for all the trials I face. My days are in His hands. He will provide all I need, to do all HE asks.

    01/27/2014 at 6:10 pm
  • Debbie says:

    Thank you so much for this post. Very eye-opening and truth. Much love, Debbie

    01/27/2014 at 6:44 pm
  • joy says:

    Another way to show a critical spirit that is more passive aggressive, is to often be disapproving, refuse to affirm the good you see in your loved ones, be rejecting and not affectionate, to withhold compliments and appreciation. Sometimes people believe that if the are not nagging or yelling or insulting then they are not hurting their loved ones, but the more passive ways of showing a critical spirit will eventually make your loved ones withdraw to avoid the hurt.

    01/28/2014 at 12:56 am
    • Kathy says:

      Very good point! I agree completely!!!

      01/28/2014 at 5:47 am
  • Liberty Baehr says:

    “…I have tried in every way I could think of to manage myself, and to make myself what I know I ought to be, but have always failed. Now I give it up to Thee. Do Thou take entire possession of me. Work in me all the good pleasure of Thy will. Mould and fashion me into such a vessel as seemeth good to Thee. I leave myself in Thy hands, and I believe Thou wilt, according to Thy promise, make me into a vessel unto Thine honor, “sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” And here you must rest, trusting yourself thus to Him continually and absolutely.”
    By Hannah Whitall Smith
    (from Ch 3 of The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life)

    Thank you for speaking the truth in love. I really needed to hear this. I need to change the way I respond (react) to my children when they don’t meet my expectations. I need to remember how many times I’ve fallen short of the mark of that high calling!! “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer…” Pr. 16:28a (& so many more verses in chapters 10-19). I’ve read them but continue to backslide in this area. Your words were sharp (but encouraging!) & got to the heart of the matter: “Iron sharpening iron.” I desire to have victory over this critical spirit, breaking the chains, & taking control of my tongue. “For with God all things are possible.” Mark 10:27

    01/28/2014 at 7:52 am
    • Carolyn Church says:

      In James it speaks of the fact that where there is striff there is every work of the devil. The Bible also says don’t let the sun go down on your anger. That is why the fruits of the spirit need to be active in your life. Repentance is the begining than learning to cast down immaginations. Battle Feild of the Mind is powerful for help to accomplishing the freedom from a critical spirit. All that goes on in your mind is not your thoughts. You are a spirit, you live in a body, you have a soul. The soul is the mind will and emotions. Most people are ruled by their emotions. This is being lead by the flesh. Be lead by the spitit and you will not fullfill the lust of the flesh. Spirit is directly connected to Father God through Jesus. the Holy Spirit dwells in us. Results of being lead by the spirit Love, Joy, Peace, Patients, gentleness,longsuffering,meekness against such there is no law. He refuring to the Holy Spirit does the work in us. It is not of works lest andy man should boast but a gift through Jesus Christ. Rest on the Holy Spirit. When we fall run to Abba Father don’t hide in shame, that
      is why Jesus came. Satan is defeated. His only power is our fear and lack of faith. GRACE

      01/28/2014 at 12:25 pm
  • Bek says:

    It is interesting that I should come across this at just the time when I can’t articulate why I am so withdrawn from my husband and feeling like he is the source of my new found depression. I read how to address it if we (the wives) are the source of a critical spirit in our homes but how should we cope if we are on the receiving end? I already see what it is doing to my 2 and 4 year old kids and it makes me weep for them.

    01/28/2014 at 12:54 pm
  • Bernice Blankenship says:

    I would love to have a copy of this article Is it possible to have it
    sent to me by e-mail?

    01/29/2014 at 8:46 pm

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