He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief. ~Proverbs 17:20
Have you ever read the warning that tells you to avoid this at all cost? It might typically be written in large, bold letters to make sure you see it. Our Scripture this morning is a warning to us that we must avoid at all cost. We see the danger and damage inflicted by a critical spirit.
We see the cause.
The root cause of a critical spirit is our heart. Our heart is desperately wicked. Evil thoughts come from our heart. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” The presence of a critical spirit is reflected in constant criticism and complaining. It sees the glass half empty instead of seeing it half filled. It sees the worst in everything instead of hoping for the best. It is a heart that is overcome with unthankfulness, bitterness, and malice. In many cases, someone who is raised in an environment where there is constant criticism, fault finding, complaining, and negative comments will develop a critical spirit. Solomon said that a froward heart findeth no good. A critical spirit can never see the good in things.
We see the cancer.
A critical spirit has to have an outlet. That outlet is the tongue. Solomon said that a perverse tongue falleth into mischief. A critical spirit does not spare its words, its fault finding, and judgmentalness. A perverse tongue means that it is twisted, overturned, and out of control. It leaves behind a trail of carnage and damage. A perverse tongue bites and devours. Many souls have been mortally injured by the perverse tongue that has fallen into mischief. It can turn a nice moment into a living nightmare. It can destroy the morale of everyone in its path. It is a cancer that eats away at whomever is its target.
We see the conquering.
First, there must be confession of the sins associated with a critical spirit. This includes bitterness, anger, wrath, malice, evil speech, and unforgiveness. Second, every thought must be brought captive to the obedience of our Lord Jesus Christ. A critical spirit is a spiritual stronghold in one’s life. When we realize that we have a critical spirit, this stronghold needs to be surrendered to the Lord. Third, we need to overcome evil with good. Instead of complaining, we must be thankful. Instead of harboring ill will, we need to let it go. Instead of being an adversary, we need to be an ally. We must forgive, forget, and move on.
We see a caution.
There are flashing lights and bells ringing to caution us against a critical spirit. First, do not fellowship with or be in the company of a person who has a critical spirit. Second, practice being kind, thankful, and encouraging. Third, make it your goal to walk in the Spirit so that you do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
Avoid a critical spirit at all costs. Each day you do not deal with it, its tentacles squeeze more of your life out of you. Decide today to rejoice and again, I say, rejoice.
Have a Spirit-controlled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Thessalonians 1-3