Billy Graham: God Wants You to Stop Complaining and Criticizing

NEW YORK - JUNE 24: Billy Graham speaks during his Crusade at Flushing Meadows Corona Park June 24, 2005 in the Queens borough of New York. Flushing Meadows Corona Park is the site for Graham's sermons on June 24-26, which looks to draw thousands of people from across the country, and will purportedly be the aging Christian televangelist's final crusade. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

In a Q & A blog sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, a reader asked evangelist Billy Graham for advice on handling her deeply critical aunt  who “takes great delight” in her criticism of not only family but of celebrities and political representatives, as well. Graham answered pointedly: “No one likes to listen to someone who constantly criticizes others or endlessly complains about someone or something. The Bible is clear: ‘Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure’ (Philippians 2:14-15).”

Graham perused briefly why critical people behave this way, but quickly returned to his point: “A critical, complaining spirit is wrong in the eyes of God. How can we love others (as God commands us to do) if we look down on them and constantly say negative things about them? How can we help them and encourage them if we cut ourselves off from them through our critical comments or unloving attitude? How can we be honest about our own sins if we’re preoccupied with the sins of others? The Bible says, ‘Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. … Who are you to judge your neighbor?’ (James 4:11-12).”

Graham finished his comment asking the reader to pray for herself, for her aunt and for an opportunity to confront her “lovingly but clearly” about the issue.

ChurchLeaders Want to Know: When have you had to confront a critical spirit—either in yourself or in another believer? Tell the story in the Comment section below, and don’t forget to give your best advice to others facing the same issue.

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Toni Ridgaway is a content editor for the Outreach Web Network, including ChurchLeaders.com and SermonCentral.com.