There are times when I want to just shout…STOP, LEAVE ME ALONE! What am I shouting about? It is unfair criticism. I live in a family when there are many times that I am being told that I have no clue what I am doing. Maybe they think I am just a child, and don’t know anything. Does that make them feel smarter than me? No it doesn’t. For some reason it is always easier to criticize than compliment someone. I can be caught up in the negativity too, but I have been working really hard at finding even something small to thank someone for. Why can’t that be done in my own family?
What makes me smile, in the mist of the criticism, is when it is about cooking. My husband forgets that I used to do canning, baking of bread, and made all the meals. He only took over some of this because of my accident in 1994, which left me almost useless to my family. It was more than four years that I couldn’t even cook for them. Today, I still have some limitations, but I have tried to remind my husband it doesn’t mean that I have forgotten how to cook. There are other areas that my family feels they need to constantly criticize me on. What I’m asking for is, instead of criticism, give me a “good try” to encourage me to continue. Another point that is important here is that I don’t need to accept what they say.
I know differently now, but at first, I was accepting it. Upon reflection and talking with God, I realized that satan was using them to pull me down. Instead, I knew I needed to stop satan from using them against me. God’s Word says, “My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.” I know my family loves me, but life would be better if they just grew up a little bit. Instead of attacking like a child bullying another, they should try and speak encouraging words. I like the fact, according to this verse, that I am to shut it down. You realize I am talking about shutting down the criticism. Wouldn’t that be heaven on earth to live with real love? It would be for me.
I know I’m talking about others criticizing, but the verse talks about self-criticism. Admit it, you may have gotten caught up in self-criticism, but you need to analyze why you are doing it. It isn’t from God, it is from satan. God doesn’t want you to do that. I used to do that, just to make my husband feel better. It was wrong and it didn’t help anyway. Are you dealing with unfair criticism? You don’t need to. It is time to stop the vicious onslaught, claim this scripture, and practice real love.
1 John 3:18-20 (The Message)