A Critical Spirit.
What does it mean to have a critical spirit? It means that you are drawn to the negative and find yourself constantly criticising everything around you. When we criticise other people we do so because we think that there is something wrong with them, however the truth of the matter is that there is something wrong with us. We are looking at other people through a dirty window. We need to clean the window.
A critical spirit usually arises in us because we have been criticised by other people. It is something that often takes root in childhood. The more we give into it, the greater a hold it has on us. It is deceptive, because we think it will make us feel better when we criticise other people, but it actually makes us feel worse. However, one of the worse things about a critical spirit is that we turn it on ourselves. We are so used to criticising others that we automatically criticise ourselves.
When we give in to a critical spirit we feel awful inside and will often be driven to seek comfort from food to try to make the feeling go away.
People who are overweight are very susceptible to a critical spirit because they feel constantly criticised. This makes us want to criticise back. We criticise others and we criticise ourselves. Think about how often you do this. Is it every time you look in a mirror or a photograph? Do you look for things to criticise in other people’s appearance?
Dieters can become so given over to criticism that even when they lose weight they are not happy. I once worked with a girl who lost a lot of weight and looked fabulous. The problem was, she didn’t know how to enjoy it. She spent all her time complaining about how difficult it was to buy clothes because there was too much choice now she was slim and it was impossible to find an outfit for the upcoming Christmas dinner dance! Needless to say it wasn’t long before the weight went back on.
It won’t matter how much weight you lose if you don’t get rid of a critical spirit. It will make sure you find other things to criticise and stop you being happy. Have you ever noticed how many beautiful people are still unhappy with their appearance? It's because they still criticise themselves.
The good news is that you can train yourself to stop criticising. The more you do this, the better you will feel not only about other people, but also about yourself. You will stop criticising your own appearance. The irony here is that as you gain victory in this area you will actually find yourself eating less.
Make a decision today that you are setting out on a road to victory over any critical spirit that has a place within you. It won’t happen overnight (well it might for some of you) but the more you practice the following steps, the better you will feel.
1. Every time you look in a mirror or at a photograph, look for the good things. Ignore the negative things and focus on the good points.
2. Look in the mirror every day and say “you are looking good today”.
3. Make a list of all your good points. Carry this around with you and keep getting it out and reminding yourself.
4. Mind your own business.
5. However you may feel about a person, find one good thing about them and focus on that.
6. Bless your enemies. Romans 12:20
7. Do not join in with gossips, faultfinders or complainers.
8. Even if people criticise you, refuse to play the game.
9. Look for strengths not weaknesses.
10. Deal with your thoughts one at a time; train yourself to think of the good.