Criticism, not a spiritual gift.

I have never met a creative critic.

Critics never have to build anything; they just demolish ideas and people. Tearing down is cheap labor. Demo work is faster than construction and trashing your bedroom is simpler than cleaning it. Courage is rarely found in the life of a critic.

Our English word “critic” comes from the Greek word “kritikos” which speaks of the action to separate. The work of a critic is to sit in judgment, speaking words that separate a person and their idea from everyone else in the room. The critic only exalts themselves by the process of lowering another.

President Theodore Roosevelt said this of the critic,

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of 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.

The Apostle Paul offers the solution to criticism when he wrote Ephesians 4:29, “let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

Corrupting talk means “rotten speech.” What a great description of critical words, rotten to the core speech. Finding a good word that “fits” both time and task is the job of every Christ follower. Let’s face it; critical words should never fit well in a Christ follower’s mouth.

When you are filled with the spirit of the living God you should be at least as kind as the Helpful Honda people in blue shirts. Right? Mark Twain once said, “he could live ninety days on a good compliment.” So grace someone with your words.  Help that person live well for the next ninety days.