It is much easier to be critical than to be correct. Benjamin Disraeli
Those readiest to criticize are often least able to appreciate. Joseph Joubert
Criticizing another’s garden doesn’t keep the weeds out of your own. Author Unknown
We are too quick to criticize and are too sensitive to being criticized ourselves. Less time being critical and more time helping and encouraging would be much better for our overall good. Too much time is wasted criticizing with far too many critics and too few doers. There should far be less criticizing and much more fixing.
Do we really care or do we wish to hear ourselves speak and sound important? Are we conscious of our motives and reasons for criticizing? If our motives are wrong, we offend and hurt, looking bad in the process. Do we do this to be considered wise and important? We should be observant of those around us who are so quick to criticize. They are too often a part of the problem and seldom get involved in helping to find a solution. More of us need to be willing to help and be less critical. Our political parties are so wrapped up in criticizing each other; they are all but useless in working together or in finding solutions or in making positive changes.
There can be a fine line between being critical and being helpful. If we truly care and are concerned we will come closer to being helpful. Belittling, berating, hurting feelings, sounding superior, saying “I told you so” and other such things, are not helpful. Criticism should be handled with tender loving care. We should not offer our “two cents” worth if it is not asked for or wanted. People get hurt and offended by those safely standing on the sidelines too easily offering their opinions, but unwilling to get involved or to even get their feet wet.
Some people have to do things their own way, without any help or advice from others. We waste our time when we try to assist them. The proper thing is to make an offer to help or advise and then let them come to us. We should not offer our advice without being asked. Equally important is the manner in which we offer our advice (criticism), it should be done with humility and genuine concern. We should never be “high and mighty”, condescending or “I told you so”. It is important to remember what it feels like when others criticize us. No one likes to be criticized. It is one thing to stop and lend a hand and yet another to point a finger.
Challenge: Are you a critic or someone who helps? It is good to be kind and helpful to others. How is your attitude? Kindness is not the same thing as being critical and judgmental. Do you truly care and are you willing to help? This is a good and desirable. Too many are criticizing and too few are rolling up their sleeves and helping. Too many are on the sidelines. Have genuine concern, but turn your criticism into true help and support.
Wisdom: Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving. Dale Carnegie
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. Galatians 5:22
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11
Constructive criticism should only be done in a spirit of love. Without love in our hearts we should resist saying or doing anything, because our motives are in question. When people are having difficulties, making mistakes, being self-destructive, causing themselves more harm than good; are we truly and genuinely concerned for their well-being or are we motivated by criticism and being judgmental? The Bible warns us about being judgmental.
Prayer: Help me to be more willing to help others without being critical or judgmental.