Critical Seasons

Well, the snake of criticism of others has crept backed into my life with all of its sliminess.

Can I blame anyone?  I think I can and then, on the other hand, I think I can't.  I hear criticisms from all manner of persons and the main person is the one yammering on in my head and those words, those critical, supposing words roll out of my mouth sometimes and it's, well, very damaging to others. 

And I go through seasons of being critical of others.  There have been times when I really felt as if I had a hold on my mind and tongue concerning all matters critical, but here I am again and have been so many times along this journey...in the place of judgment over others, especially in my mind. 

Can we think whatever we want to think, when and how we would like to think it?  I guess we can.  We can do whatever we want.  But that thinking certainly shapes our brains.  If we are thinking judgmentally of others constantly it will totally guide and direct many, many moves we make and many, many words we say.  Scary, huh?  

And my love for people, all people, deters in this state, this state of not seeing the soul of each person deep within and being compassionate, whatever their plight, knowing full well, that I would surely never fully know or comprehend the many details that brings a person to where they are in the present.  We can't know it all nor can we be better than some or anyone.  Better?

I haven't allowed myself to really "think" that actual sentence in my mind.  "I am better than that person because of ______."  I have never thought in those exact terms, but my self-righteous mind finds ways to pat myself on the proverbial back for its thoughts.  Those thoughts are often congratulatory at the time they are thought.  Later they are condemning.  And I don't have to be religious, a church-goer or a supposed "Christian" to be self-righteous.  I can be fully self-righteous without any of these expounding planks on which I need to stand and I have been doing fine by myself without those things to blame. 

And here I am again for the billionth time...realizing where I am in my mind and wanting something else.  I want this season of being critical to pass and never to return.  For me that is a very ambitious idea considering where I came from, but nevertheless attainable, with time and patience.  This is what I want in life...to be able to look at others, all others on equal footing and to have sympathy, empathy, compassion or understanding for that person, to not make much ado about all those things I do not know or to fill in the details for myself in order to make sense of something or that person.  Yes, it's ambitious, but in my world it is expected and required, in my world with God.

I leave you with some thoughts a friend posted on facebook by Oswald Chambers:

  

June 17 2012
"Judge not, that you be not judged." —Matthew 7:1

Jesus’ instructions with regard to judging others is very simply put; He says, “Don’t.” The average Christian is the most piercingly critical individual known. Criticism is one of the ordinary activities of people, but in the spiritual realm nothing is accomplished by it. The effect of criticism is the dividing up of the strengths of the one being criticized. The Holy Spirit is the only one in the proper position to criticize, and He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. It is impossible to enter into fellowship with God when you are in a critical mood. Criticism serves to make you harsh, vindictive, and cruel, and leaves you with the soothing and flattering idea that you are somehow superior to others. Jesus says that as His disciple you should cultivate a temperament that is never critical. This will not happen quickly but must be developed over a span of time. You must constantly beware of anything that causes you to think of yourself as a superior person.

There is no escaping the penetrating search of my life by Jesus. If I see the little speck in your eye, it means that I have a plank of timber in my own (see Matthew 7:3-5). Every wrong thing that I see in you, God finds in me. Every time I judge, I condemn myself (see Romans 2:17-24). Stop having a measuring stick for other people. There is always at least one more fact, which we know nothing about, in every person’s situation. The first thing God does is to give us a thorough spiritual cleaning. After that, there is no possibility of pride remaining in us. I have never met a person I could despair of, or lose all hope for, after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.
 
 

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