The Issues of Criticism

Scripture Reference

Matthew 7 (NIV) Judging Others

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

 Luke 6:37-42 (NIV) Judging Others

37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged.Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

39 He also told them this parable:“Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.

41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

What is Criticism?

In simple language, criticism is the act of judging unfavorably or fault finding.

 Major Points of Sermon

  1. The first point that Jesus makes is that we should not judge. He goes onto say that you also will be judged. The number one reason I think we should not judge is because we are not in a position of judging anyone most of the time. Think about it: in the time of Jesus ministry on earth, the high Priests, Pharisees, Sadducees and other teachers of the law used to look down on the gentiles or the heathen. So all the while these holy people were criticizing, ridiculing, making judgment calls on these outcast people and claiming themselves to being disciples of Moses, claiming to be the chosen people of God. In a way, I quite agree with them, they were more righteous (depends on how you define righteousness) and indeed the chosen people of God (Abraham’s descendents). And all this while they were looking down on the gentiles (heathen, outcasts), not conceiving or able to understand that pride had blinded their spiritual eyes or made their vision blurry. Remember, as long as you are looking down, you don’t see up. The sting or bee bite I might say comes when we suddenly look up and realize that there is one above us who judges, whose judgment is most righteous and no argument can be made against that. That is precisely the reason Jews wear a hemispherical cap when they pray called kippah (kippa, kipoh or kipa). It signifies that there is one above them, God, who is always watching, listening, and studying all they do. Now back to the subject of judging. There are a lot of things involved and needed to make a righteous judgment about a person. I and you may not have the full information on the inside and therefore our judgment is unjust. Think about it: who knows the internal conflicts of a person, the situation, circumstances and problem they are facing, the temptation, enticement and deception they are being bombarded with, The condition of another’s heart, mind, health, finances, family, job, married life etc. The list goes on and on. We know very less to judge or criticize since we do not have the full knowledge neither information or facts or even experience to make our judgment call count. Only God fits these criteria. Let me say this aloud: Be careful when you open your mouth against someone, be careful before you say things about others without thinking, and be careful when you ridicule your brothers and sisters in Christ who are formed in the very image of God. Remember, there is one above you. He is watching, listening and studying all you think, do and say.
  2. The second point Jesus makes is about giving and receiving. He talks the measure you use; it will be measured back to you. The word love appears in the NIV translation about 681 times and the word give (including derivatives) appears about 1433 times (more than double the amount of times as love). Giving has a lot to do with judgment. Jesus said do not judge and right afterward to give. But give what? Suppose a sister so and so has not been coming to church for a month. Instead of criticizing about her to others for not coming to the church, why don’t you pray for her? Why don’t you do intercession on her behalf? Why don’t you plead to God to help her in whatever situation or circumstance or problem she is facing? Why don’t you call her to see if all is well? When you pray for another or call to check on another, are you not giving; giving your time, energy and putting in some real effort. I personally feel that Jesus was making a point that instead of judging and criticizing, we should ask ourselves one simple question: What can I do to help and serve the other as a brother or sister in the Lord? You see, judgment and criticism wastes a lot of precious time and energy. As we all know, time is money. Instead let pray for people, let us bless people, let us continue doing what we know best, let us carry each other’s burdens and who knows (I suppose God only) that along the way people who have gone astray, are lost will find their way back, for the church of Christ is their spiritual home after all. And if God has not judged them, who are we? Ultimately God is the one seated on the judgment seat. Be patient with others. Remember Christ has been very patient with you!
  3. The third point Jesus makes is about correcting yourself before correcting others. Please read carefully as this is a very important point. Most judgment calls and acts if criticism people make about other people are self-refuting, self-defeating and self-destructive statements. The very problem lies in being guilty of the very thing one is accusing others off. It’s like lying and the very next minute you are criticizing another for it, it’s like a thief judging another for stealing. I hope you understand where I’m trying to go with this. You cannot teach something you do not practice your own self. I cannot be telling you to come to church at 9:00AM and do intercessory prayer if I’m not doing it myself. I cannot be encouraging people to buy books and I don’t read anything myself. That would be pretty stupid, foolish and senseless. For me to do that would be to make a fool out of myself. I’m afraid this is exactly what is happening in Christendom today. People (Christians) don’t do certain things themselves but expect others to do them. For example a person may expect the church to be always praying for them but they themselves are putting in zero effort on their side. I’m afraid this is like a dog chasing its own tail and you end up nowhere. Let us practice what we preach. Let us improve ourselves, correct our mistakes, put our own home in order, put our own church in order, get a hold of God through prayer, praise and fasting, let us solidify our commitment to God, commit to help out in the church, do whatever possible, wherever possible, whenever possible with the gifts, talents, resources, wealth and time God has blessed us with before we point a finger to another, before we find faults in another, before we rule judgment or play the role of a critic. Let Christ work in you and through you so that you yourself can receive help and are made better (process of perfection) before being of any help to a weaker brother or sister in the Lord or outside. Let us humble ourselves before the very throne of God on our knees, wiping and crying, if need be so that we can get the help from above (divine help), so that once He’s done with us, there is no longer a need to judge or criticize. The new creature’s life in Christ shines out so bright, revealing the very glory of God that all around are attracted, drawn and converted or brought back to God without saying a word. Let us all be that kind of vessel whose light shines out among others in this world.


In conclusion, I would like to summarize my three points:

  1. Jesus said we should not judge others. I believe the reason why we should not judge is because we are not in a position to make a just decision. We do not have all the information about a person’s life and their circumstances, situations and problems. Only God holds that position.
  2. Instead of judging, Christ instructs us to practice giving and receiving. In a way, it sounds kind of foolish. But then again, God’s foolishness is wiser than the wisdom of all men. Why giving? That’s what love is: unconditional giving. It means to wish the good of another especially those who are worthy of unfavorable judgment and criticism. But give what? I feel Jesus wants us to ask a very simple question: What good can you and I do instead of judging and criticizing? The number one thing we can all do is pray, pray for God’s grace, love and mercy on their lives, pray for their needs, pray that the almighty opens their spiritual eyes to understand their calling in his house and kingdom. Second thing I feel is that we should encourage them in the Lord and if there is a situation which requires the giving of resources or finances and you stand in a position to help, do it. Christ is watching you. And that is exactly how you receive; receive God’s blessings that are by yourself becoming a blessing to another. I hope this makes sense.
  3. Thirdly Jesus instructs us to correct ourselves before we correct others in the same matter. A liar cannot judge another for lying since he is guilty of the same offence (sin). Our lives need to be clean of the offence we are helping another to overcome. Let us be very careful before we play the role of a critic. A bigger critic than all of us stands right above us looking, watching and studying our every move.