I have a critical spirit, one of the things that God laid on my heart to work on this year. It is so easy for me to see what is wrong, what needs to be fixed, how to solve a situation, or come up with a way out of a jam.... yet in the process I forget to enjoy all that is right. The beauty, the care, the passion, the compassion, the love and consideration that is behind most acts, thoughts, words and deeds.
I have been especially convicted about my critical spirit as it comes to fellow Christians. "I cannot believe they let their kids do....., " "I cannot believe they do not let their kids ........," "How can she call herself a Christian and do....." "Why would someone who is a Christian not do...." The thoughts and criticism can run like an endless tape in my head, a veritable proving ground for discontent, dissension and distraction. Christians are known for criticizing our fellow believers, dividing rather than unifying - and I am sure I have done my fair share to contribute to this stereo type. Please note, I am not talking about blatant errors or sin, the Bible is pretty clear on how these situations are to be handled.
Beth Moore, wrote so wisely in Praying God's Word Day by Day about and it hit home:
"Concentrating on the shortcomings of other Christians can cheat a Christian of truly enjoying the presence of God." p 44.
My mind can only handle one thing at the time, and why should I give up time and presence with God for the worries about someone else? For a situation that I have no say in, no impact on, no stake in? Rather, I ought to keep my focus on God, praying for my fellow believers.
When I focus on others, I have to take the focus of God and that is EXACTLY where the enemy would like me, my focus can be any other place. So when I criticize, analyze, judge another Christian - the enemy calls it a victory, MISSION COMPLETE! He knows the incredible power that comes with a focus on God - with God nothing is impossible.
This has been ruminating in my mind for a while. The power that my thoughts have, and how much control I have over these random, and at times dangerous thoughts. I have renewed resolve to keep my focus on God. Spending my time with God rather than on my critical thoughts, has been so sweet, so enjoyable. I am seeing a difference. No, I am still able to quickly judge, criticize or seize up a situation, but I am now aware of the danger, and try to bring my focus back on God. I do not need to be assisting the enemy in his attack, my mind is no longer in his army.