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Meditation: The Criticizer
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Two taxidermists stopped before a window where an owl was on display. Immediately they criticized the way the owl was mounted. They noted that the eyes were not natural, nor the wings proportionate to its head, and its feathers were not neatly arranged, and its feet needed improvement. When they had finished their criticisms, the owl turned its head and winked at them.

Someone once said that the art of being wise is knowing what to overlook; that judgment and criticism says a lot more about who we are than it does about those who we are judging or criticizing.

Matthew 7:1-5 MSG says, “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.”

Before we get overly critical of others for their critical attitude, we must understand that criticizing and judging others is a sin that we all struggle with.

In this passage Jesus is talking about one that we’ll call, “The Criticizer.” The Criticizer is deadly and causes great harm, not only to the individuals they judge and criticize, but to the church, which is a representative of Jesus here on earth.

Jesus is dealing with the judgmental attitude and critical spirit that exist within the church that He’s the head of. So serious is criticism and judgmentalism within the church that Jesus pulls no punches; that they will be judged in the same way they judge others.

These criticizers are self-righteous, self-deceived, and lack Christ-like love. As such they are hypocrites and abuse the gospel of grace they say they proclaim.

It might be advantageous; therefore, for us to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying as Jesus speaks to “The Criticizer.”

In this whole judging thing, Jesus never says that we’re not going to judge. In Matthew’s gospel Jesus talks about how we can rightly judge someone who is false by the way they live their life.

“You will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16 NKJV)

We need to be more like Jesus and be able to say what He said to the woman caught in adultery.

“‘Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’” (John 8:10-11 NKJV)

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The Greenhorn Valley View is a weekly newspaper serving the communities of the Greenhorn Valley in Southern Colorado,
including Colorado City, Rye, San Isabel, Beulah and Hatchet Ranch.

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