The average Christian is the most piercingly critical individual known. Criticism is one of the ordinary activities of people, but in the spiritual realm nothing is accomplished by it.... (Oswald Chambers)
Chambers' quote points nails the essence of the dangers of a critical spirit. When I fly out at another person for any reason at all, at that moment (of course) I adopt the attitude that I'm superior to the person I am criticizing. My critical attitude has the enormously appealing ability to provide me an apparently moral high ground to stand on.
My greatest challenge in this area for me is to cultivate the ability never to be critical of people (especially Christians) who are themselves critical. Because, of course, when I censure these people I immediately fall into the trap of failing exactly at the point I am criticizing them for. Chambers is right about such an attitude, "Nothing is accomplished by it."
I'm a hypocrite if ever I criticize anyone! May the grace of God give me in increasing measure the grace that marked Chambers' attitude towards others, when he wrote, in another place, "I have never met a person I could despair of, or lose all hope for, after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God."
Heavenly Father: Thanks for the example of Jesus, who was able to confront sinners without criticizing them.