Criticism God’s Way

Taken from the Spring 1999 issue of The Journal of Biblical Counseling, (Vol. 17, No. 3) in an article entitled “The Cross and Criticism”.

I see my brother/sister as one for whom Christ died (1 Cor. 8:11).

Keep on loving each other as brothers (Heb. 13:1).

I come as an equal, who also is a sinner.

Are we any better than they? Not at all. For there is no one righteous…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:9,23).

I prepare my heart lest I speak out of wrong motives.

All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD (Prov. 16:2).

The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil (Prov. 15:28).

A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction (Prov. 16:23).

I examine my own life and confess my sin first.

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye (Matt. 7:3-5).

I am always patient, in it for the long haul (Eph. 4:2).

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. (1 Cor. 13:4).

My goal is not to condemn by debating points, but to build up through constructive criticism.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may give grace to those who listen (Eph. 4:29).

I correct and rebuke my brother gently, in the hope that God will grant him the grace of repentance even as I myself repent only through His grace.

And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth… (2 Tim. 2:24-25).


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