Numbers 12:1-2, 9 While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because he had married a Cushite woman. They said, “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us, too?” But the Lord heard them. The Lord was very angry with them, and he departed.
James MacDonald defines criticism as “dwelling upon the perceived faults of another with no view of their good.“¹ It is easy to criticize others when we dwell on our perception of how people should operate in the world particularly if we are jealous or resentful of them. If we begin to feel entitled, then everyone else is wrong and we know exactly why and how things could be better. But, as we can see from the story of Miriam and Aaron in Numbers 12, God calls criticizing others a sin. Criticism damages our relationship with God and others as well as hurting ourselves. It is petty, self-exalting, painful and can stop the flow of God’s blessing in our lives and throw us right into the wilderness.
“The momentary relief you may get from criticizing other Christians is not worth the damage you will pass on to your family. And the critical attitude festering in your heart is not worth the damage you will do to your relationship with God. To restore God’s blessing, we need to confess and forsake this wilderness attitude, and replace it with a Promised Land attitude.”²
[Read Jeremiah 31-36]
Jeremiah 32:40-41 “And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land.”
Forgive me for thinking so highly of myself and that my perspective is always the right one. Give me graciousness, love and forbearance with others. Help me tolerate the differences in others and not demand that everyone view the world the same way I do. Give me victory over a critical spirit. Amen.