“That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging.”
Matthew 7:2 Message Bible
The other day I met with a friend for a time of prayer. She has been a friend of mine for many years, in fact, we went to school together. We began to talk about things that were going on. We were discussing how things had to get better and breakthrough had to come. As she said this, I was reminded of something the Lord had told me last week.
You see, several weeks before this conversation, someone had called me and ask me my opinion about a particular person. I knew this person intimately therefore they knew I would have insight and I did.
I gave my opinion, yes, my opinion. And we moved on.
Later that day, the Lord said to me ‘what did I tell you was the biggest blessing blocker?’ I replied ‘criticism.’ You see, although I was giving my honest opinion, after much conversation with my friend, it became critical. I imagine that is why the Bible says to let your yes be yes and your no be no. And leave it at that. The Bible goes on to say that any more than that is from the evil one. That is a powerful statement; anything beyond yes or no is from the evil one.
I repented and decided the next time I was asked about this person, they would get a yes or no answer and I would not allow myself to criticize regardless of what I had seen.
The thing I have found is that God wants us blessed more than we want to be blessed and He is faithful to show us what we are doing wrong. All we have to do is repent and choose to do better.
It’s so easy to be critical. It is sad, but it seems much easier than choosing to believe the best.
But you see I have been on both ends of that barrel. Let me tell you, it is not fun being the one criticized; especially if you are doing the best you can do at the time.
Through my season of challenge, I learned a great deal, and I learned a great deal about mercy and forgiveness and believing the best in others. Let me share a story with you; there was a woman who had purchased an ad from us. The cost of the ad was $3500. We ran the ad, sent the bill and she didn’t pay it. We sent more bills and made calls and she said she couldn’t pay it. She told us she would pay it when she could but some things had happened that were out of her control and she didn’t have the money to pay.
Truthfully, I became very angry with this woman. I said things like ‘this is why people don’t trust Christians’ and so many other things. After a few days the Lord dealt with me about my attitude toward this woman and had me cancel her debt. I had to call her and tell her that she no longer owed that money. She cried. It was such a relief to her, not that the debt was cancelled but that God was still speaking on her behalf and working things out for her.
I wish I had believed the best in her from the beginning, I wish I had done things differently. For you see, not many months later, some things happened beyond my control and I had to close my business. We had subscribers, thousands of them who were not going to get the remainder of their subscriptions.
Many of them were wonderful, most of them were wonderful but there were a few who crucified me. They said all kinds of ugly things to me and about me. I couldn’t have felt worse about what was happening but it was simply beyond my control and I lost everything. And I do mean everything. But it made me think of this other woman who has since become a friend.
On the other hand, something truly wonderful happened during this time. Just as I had done with the lady in the story, I had numerous people calling me and emailing me to cancel the debt with them. God showed me something through this. He showed me about Lazarus, how Jesus raised him up but it was his friends that took what was holding him in bondage off him; they removed the burial clothes. God showed me that as each person cancelled a debt, they were removing the grave clothes. I thought that was a wonderful revelation.
The Bible tells us to believe the best in others. I didn’t do that with her in the beginning, I believed the worst, and therefore I reacted in the flesh. It took God dealing with me for me to see her heart and see the best in her.
As I said earlier, that season taught me mercy and forgiveness. I learned the hard way to believe the best in others. I began to pray that God would do a work in my heart and I would not be quick to judge what others do. I pray that I will never crucify anyone for $19 or even $3500. You will never know what a person has gone through or is going through until you walk a mile in their shoes. Before you judge, take a moment and seek God and ask Him to show you their heart, He will. If their motives are wrong, God will show you. However, I believe most of the time, they are simply in a hard place and doing the best they can do.
Don’t be critical. Don’t block your blessings. Do as the Bible says and believe the best and speak the best. Words are instruments of healing or instruments of pain, let your words heal and restore. As you do, your blessings will flow.