A Criticism

If a critical spirit were a spiritual gift I would be a guru.

But like most vices, its easily enough dismissed as something positive. I can quite naturally present it as discernment. I can lead others to believe it is a sign of wisdom: I understand the real problem. I really know how to size up the situation.

But in the end it is nothing more than one of the vilest sins a Christian can commit. A critical spirit is in this way a manifestation of pride itself. Pride is, of course, the most frequently repudiated attitude in the Bible. But in many Christian circles today, it has been downgraded as a personality trait of learned men, who can really express themselves only in this way. We act as though a critical spirit is a privilege of the elite.

But then there is Jesus, the logos made flesh: who humbled himself and became a servant. Instead of condescending criticism he chose a water basin and a towel; instead of a caustic attitude a cross.

If I am to criticize someone it should be myself for not being more like him. In this way the only truly constructive criticism is self-criticism.Thus, this post is written for no one but myself, but I suppose even in publishing it, to some measure, I’m betraying my own words.

After all, I am the only person I can really change. God help me.

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Dan DeWitt (PhD, Southern Seminary) serves on faculty at Cedarville University as the founding director of the Center for Biblical Apologetics and Public Christianity. Dan and his wife April live in Cedarville, OH, with their four children: Isaiah, Micah, Josiah, and Addilynn Joy. Dan is an author of multiple books and posts regularly on his blog theolatte.com