A Critical Spirit can bring good efforts to a grinding halt.
An editor, wishing to please fault-finders, inserted this item in his newspaper: "If you find an error, please understand it was there for a purpose. We try to publish something for everyone, and some people are always looking for something to criticize."
When Nehemiah inquired about the condition of Jerusalem and those living there, he was told, "The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach" (Nehemiah 1:3). The Hebrew word translated great distress means "misery" and "calamity." Also was added they were under reproach. The Hebrew word meaning "sharp," "cutting," "penetrating," or "piercing." The idea is one of bearing the brunt of cutting words. They were being criticized and slandered for obeying God.
In his sermon, "Do You Have A Critical Spirit?" Dr. Dale A. Robbins stated, "A 'critical spirit,' is an obsessive attitude of criticism and fault-finding, which seeks to tear others down. The person with a critical spirit usually dwells on the negative, seeks for flaws rather than good. They're a complainer, usually always upset, and generally have a problem or complaint about something. They often have little control over their tongue, their temper, and have tendencies for gossip and slander, which Paul said were sins 'worthy of death' (Romans 1:29 – 32)."
Christ was criticized. In John 10:20 we read, "And many of them said, 'He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him'?" Think of the terrible condition of these critical people. Accusing the Son of God of having a demon and being out of His mind! A Puritan of long ago said, "Tigers rage at the fragrancy of sweet spices: so did these monsters at the Savior's sweet sayings."
A minister dreamed he was hitched to a covered wagon, and was laboriously, but slowly, pulling it along, until he reach a place in the road where the mud seemed to get deeper. With much difficulty he moved the wagon only a few inches at a time. He thought this rather peculiar because the last time he looked back he thought he saw the entire congregation pushing. However, the longer and harder he pulled, the more impossible it was to move the wagon. Finally, almost exhausted, he went to the rear to examine the problem. All the church members had quit pushing. Not only had they quit pushing but they were sitting in the wagon and were criticizing the pastor for not pulling the church along faster!
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey , Florida 34654