I’m not sure how I became this way.
I was lying in my bed, maybe an hour or so ago. And my mind went back to a conversation I’d had with a dear friend last week. For the sake of her privacy, I won’t name her name or even give the specifics of our conversation. But I will say that as we spoke, I found myself being subtly critical of her.
Now this is someone I love, admire and respect. How could I do this?
This isn’t the first time I’ve done it nor the first time the Holy Spirit has brought it to my attention.
I have a very bad habit of being critical.
It’s not the type of criticism that feels bad initially. No. If I were that type of critical, I’d have no friends at all. That’s not the bad part. The bad part about it is that the criticism that I use attempts to make people second guess themselves and their decisions.
“That’s a nice purse! Why so big though?” “I like your hair! You weren’t scared to cut it so short?”
See how subtle that can be?
Those are fictional examples but they describe what I do- have done.
I don’t want to be critical anymore.
Have you ever seen a picture of someone in an outfit not so flattering? Maybe it was a friend or loved one. Have you ever desired to say, “She looks a hot mess!”
I think that’s pretty much the immediate reaction of us all.
But what would happen if there was a pause…and instead we said, “You know, I’m glad she’s wearing something that makes her happy and makes her feel good. So what I don’t particularly care for it?! I’m glad she can wear what she likes”?
Wow.
Totally different vibe, huh?
Sometimes the most powerful Word from heaven can be “so what”?
So what you don’t like his suit or her choice of dresses.
So what you wouldn’t have done that if it were you.
Guess what? It’s NOT you. Get over yourself.
If it were you, you’d probably do much worse!
I don’t want to be a critical friend, sister, mom.
It’s not fun when the Holy Spirit turns His spotlight on your faults but it’s so necessary.
I want to be a better version of me.
When people are around me, I want them to feel better about themselves, not doubt themselves.
I want to end the legacy of criticism that was passed down to me.
I don’t have to police every one’s choices and help them to second guess their decisions.
Just because that’s how I was treated doesn’t mean that needs to be passed on to others.
It ends with me.
Love begins today.
The Holy Spirit is teaching me how to love.
We say we want to love but loving the way God does isn’t easy.
It requires you to give up some things.
There’s nothing wrong with giving your opinion if someone asks for it.
But that’s the key…did they even ask?
Why are you standing ready to dispense your critique like a vending machine?
Who cares what you think?
Seriously?
Why would you rather someone feel insecure than self confident?
Ok, so you wouldn’t come out of the house looking like that. But your brother or sister did.
Can you find a way to celebrate that?
She’s smiling from ear to ear in a dress you can’t stand.
Can you appreciate her smile before you criticize her dress?
Hmm.
I’ve got a lot of work to do. Being critical runs deep with me.
I never considered myself to be a mean girl.
But just because you can be polite, doesn’t say that you’re not mean.
I can be polite. The Holy Spirit knows this.
Now He’s teaching me how to love.
Big difference.

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