Day Four – Criticism or Discernment?

Today’s Scripture: Matthew 7:1-5; Matthew 12:34-37; 1 Corinthians 12:10

In His sermon on the mount, Jesus cautioned, “Judge not lest you be judged . . . “If we’re quick to judge others, we are setting the parameters by which we allow others to judge us. That’s a scary thought, isn’t it? It would help if we learned to judge ourselves first.

Some people confuse judging with discerning. When Paul taught about discernment in his letter to the Corinthians, he was referring to “distinguishing between spirits”—discerning right from wrong, good from evil, truth from untruth. He was not speaking of pointing out a person’s sins or flaws in the presence or hearing of others.

It’s just a matter of time before people with critical spirits become openly judgmental. A spirit of criticism can be contained for only so long. Jesus cautioned that we speak from the abundance of what is contained in our hearts. If criticism fills our hearts, it will soon fill our words. This becomes a deterrent to others. No one enjoys being around someone if they know they’ll be under constant critical scrutiny.

Solomon cautioned, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Prov. 4:23). Before we set up guard over our hearts, we should first judge what’s in it. Then we can determine to not allow anything ugly, hurtful, bitter, or critical to find its way into our hearts. Our words will become the evidence of what’s in our spirit.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psa. 19:14).

  • Have you ever confused judgmentalism with discernment? What have you done to course-correct?

How can a person guard his heart from being judgmental