Critical thinking and discernment yield clarity and truth. But harsh spirited criticism has become a national pastime — not a good thing. Successful talk radio and TV programs feed on negative criticism. Much time, energy and money is spent on this pastime.
In 1910, Teddy Roosevelt said in a speech given at the Sorbonne in Paris,
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of the deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly… who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails at least fails while daring greatly.
Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount said that criticism has dangers, saying that we will all be judged by the same measuring stick that we use against others (Matthew 7:1-5). The Message paraphrase says it this way,
Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults — unless, of course, you want the same treatment. The critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. (Matthew 7: 1 THE MESSAGE)
This week let's take to heart the words of the Wise One from the book of Ecclesiastes,
Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. (Ecclesiates 5:2 NIV)
Sharing the journey with you,