There are Two schools of thought amoung christians when it comes to criticism.
The first group “Says judge not lest you be judged” (matthew 7:1)
The second group says “call it out” Matthew 18:15)
While both are true, both can also be taken out of context.
Demonic spirits come in all shapes and sizes. They can be bold and boisterous like corrupt politicians or deadly diseases or they can be more subtle like that of gossip and criticism.
But make no mistake these less subtle forms are no less deadly to those who suffer at the hands of this sinfully scarring behavior.
If you find yourself fighting the temptation of a critical spirit, There are 3 steps you can take to rid yourself of this demonic presence.
But first let’s examine What’s behind a critical spirit –
You will often find selfishness, superiority or insecurity. Critical people are often selfish people. On the outside they say they only want what’s best for you but the truth behind the judgment is pure selfishness. My preferences come first and you’re cramping my style.
Superiority says “I’m better than you” and “I know more than you” “I’m the boss of you”
Insecurity says “I pretend to care about others but in reality I have a carnal preoccupation with myself”. Insecurity looks to tear others down in an effort to feel better about themselves.
A critical spirit is not to be confused with a spirit of discernment as some with a critical spirit would like you to believe. The spirit of discernment is a gift in which one can tell what spirits are operating in a persons life. This “discernment” is often an excuse for critical people to tear others down.
How can you tell the difference? The difference between the spirit of discernment and the spirit of criticism is the motive behind the message. A critical spirit is one that looks to condemn – discernment looks to restore.
A critical spirit says “See, I called it”
A discerning spirit says “It’s not about me”
A critical spirit says “She’s going to pay for that”
A discerning spirit says “Jesus already paid for that”
A critical spirit says “I’m just speaking the truth”
A discerning spirit says “I’m speaking the truth with hopes to restore you to love”
Critical spirits create critical minds that are jaded.
Critical spirits create critical hearts that are hardened.
Critical spirits create critical words that cause soul wounds in others.
Don’t be fooled my friend, even if this critical spirit is only manifesting in your mind, it is equally (if not more) contaminating.
A person who smiles to your face and rips you apart in their mind is the worst type of enemy.
So if you are battling with a critical spirit, have no fear. By the power of Jesus Christ, you can overcome what the enemy is trying to use for your destruction.
Step #1. Acknowledge.
To get rid of a critical spirit you must first acknowledge that you have a critical spirit. There are no excuses that we can use to justify our critical behavior. To overcome this spirit of criticism, we must admit that we battle with it.
Step #2. Repent.
Jesus made restoration simple when he went to the cross for our sins. 1 John 1:9 reminds us that “if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”.
To repent means that we make a true heart confession and turn from the former behavior. No looking back! Instead, ask God to give you a loving heart that is compassionate towards people.
Step #3. Heal.
Often times a critical spirit gets in through an open door in a persons life. This can be from unhealed wounds or trauma (big or small) especially from childhood.
Jesus came so that we could be healed, physically, spiritually and emotionally. If there are residual wounds that could open the door,
I encourage you to get to the root cause. Wise Christian counseling is often the best way to close those old doors.
Step #4. Resist.
The desire to tear someone down is no different than any other temptation one needs to overcome. If you desire to give up alcohol, you will need to fight the urge. If you desire to stop cursing, you will need to fight the temptation.
The enemy is not going to leave peacefully. He will look to come back and test you again and again to see how strong your resolve is. Don’t give him any power.
By the blood of Jesus, you have the power to overcome (1 Corinthians 10:13)
As Christians, a critical spirit should have no place in our lives. May we have the eyes of Jesus and see people as he does.
If you have ever wondered if your toxic thoughts are contributing to a critical spirit, take this quiz: How Toxic Are My Thoughts