FINDING FAULTS WITHIN MYSELF
I do not typically write book reviews, but I am feeling led to share how a particular book that I have been reading has affected my personal attitude lately. I have been SLOWLY reading a book my cousin recommended to me called “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer. It is slow going, because I keep finding myself in the pages, & need to stop & reflect a bit before proceeding. In a nutshell, the book is about how the devil uses our minds against us. It really makes one stop & think about one’s own thoughts! I am a Recovering Type ‘A’ Personality, with perfectionistic tendencies. (No, I am not in a support group, I just think that sounds better than saying I am a Type ‘A’ person, ha ha.) So it is sometimes tough for me to acknowledge my own faults, one of which is being overly critical of others.
Several points that Joyce makes in my reading of that book this morning hit home with me, including these:
* “We must have a ‘holy fear’ of pride & be very careful of judging others or being critical of them.”
* “Each of us belongs to God, & even if we have weaknesses, He is able to make us stand & to justify us. We answer to God, not to each other; therefore we are not to judge one another in a critical way.”
* “The devil stays very busy assigning demons to place judgmental, critical thoughts in people’s minds.”
* “The devil loves to keep us busy, mentally judging the faults of others. That way, we never see or deal with what is wrong with us!”
* “We cannot change others, only God can.”
* “A judgmental mind is an offshoot of a negative mind – thinking about what is wrong with an individual instead of what is right.”
* “Judgment, criticism & suspicion never bring joy.”
* “A major problem is brewing in your mind when you ponder your opinion until it becomes a judgment. … It has then become explosive, & has the ability to do a great deal of harm in the realm of relationships as well as in the spiritual realm.”
Funny, how sometimes God will place a person or thing in our pathways at exactly the moments that we need them. such as this morning, when I picked up this book that I have been reading for weeks now, & it picked up right at this exact place, a topic that I have been not only dealing with, but counseling someone else about, as well. If someone else has a judgmental, critical spirit, we must remember that only they & God can fix that for them. If someone is criticizing or judging you, perhaps this is THEIR probem, NOT yours.
Conversely, if you are having some relationship issues, maybe you should step back & take a look at your own spirit. Are you being harsh, judgmental, & critical, looking for what is wrong with that person, instead of what is right with them? Whether it is a family member, a spouse, a co-worker, or a friend, criticism is not a healthy thing. Pray about your own role in the relationship. Pray to find the things that are RIGHT with that person, & then dwell on those, refusing to let the devil cause you to ponder the things that are wrong. That is my personal prayer today: Lord, help me find the things that are right with everyone that I encounter today, & help me refrain from thinking about, & especially from pointing out, the things that are wrong, because the people I encounter already have enough of that already.