Revised February 27th, 2015
What is criticism? The base meaning of the word is critic or critique–the process of reviewing and expressing a negative, positive, or mixed opinion. Criticism has its purpose– it is designed to help people to grow, and to expose areas that need to be purged or at least improved in their lives. Positive criticism encourages the recipient to do more; to improve on what they already possess. It can be a mixed critique pointing out good and bad elements, and is the most revealing of all. When people are faced with negative criticism designed to tear down and discourage, the end result can be devastation and pain.
There is another form of criticism that may appear to be negative, yet upon close perusal will reveal itself as positive. This is a critique designed to point out things that can be changed to produce a positive result. This type of criticism is embodied in the teachings of Jesus Christ our Lord.
After many efforts to teach the disciples how to use the power given them to heal the sick, Jesus had to address their lack of faith. All through The Gospels we can see examples of times when Jesus had to admonish His disciples and to point out their lack of belief.
Was Jesus critical of His disciples? Yes, he was. Example: Matthew 17:15, 16 KJV revised.
There is a man whose son is plagued with seizures. The disciples, despite all of Jesus’ teachings, cannot heal him.
“LORD, have mercy on my son; for he is lunatic (luna-moon) and sore vexed; for oftentimes he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to Your disciples and they could not cure him.”
Verses 17, 18, 19, and 20: Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to me”. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, “Why could we not cast him out”? And Jesus said unto them, “Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
This was an example of criticism. What was Jesus’ intention in telling them of their unbelief? To strengthen their belief. To inspire the disciples to embrace all that He was teaching them, and to recognize the power they possessed through Him. This was positive or constructive criticism. It was designed to promote growth.
Destructive criticism is designed to hurt and tear down. Pray that you can distinguish between the positive and the negative, for you do not want to discourage GOD’s people through tearing their spirits apart and leaving them in despair.
Have a criticism? Intend for it to help someone to grow, and make sure that the Voice of The LORD has uttered the words.
Likewise, try the Spirit if you have a tendency to interpret all criticism as negative. There are those lead by GOD to deliver you and me from error.
In His Name,