Word for Today by Bob Gass (DON'T BE A CRITIC, BE A CHEERLEADER)
‘Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.’ Proverbs 12:25 NKJV
Why do we find it easier to be a critic than a cheerleader?
(1) Our self-importance. Once we’ve achieved a certain level of success, we think that ‘we know best’. But sometimes what we are ready to teach, people are not ready to learn. And at that point we have a choice—back off and let God deal with them, or try to ram it down their throats. In such times we’d do well to remember the old adage: ‘A man, convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.’ Perhaps there was a time when you yourself were not very teachable, so pray for them and allow God to work according to His time scale.
(2) Our gifting. We don’t stop to consider that our talents and experiences are unique to us—given by the grace of God (see Romans 12:6). So we expect everyone else to come up to our level, and we put them down when they don’t. ‘Except the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it.’ (Psalm 127:1 NKJV) Back off and let God work on them!
(3) Our earliest experiences. We are moulded by the attitudes of our caregivers. They nurture in us the coping mechanisms, positive and negative, that we work with. Indeed, some of our parents actually believed that praise would hurt us and criticism would help us. So we must change our way of thinking and begin to line up what we say with what’s in the Word of God. ‘Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.’