Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

The Critic

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”

2 Timothy 4:2

Who of us have not been criticised for something he did or said? Mostly these were bad experiences in our lives, which we would rather forget as soon as possible. Sometimes we feel that we are right, at other times we realize that we are in the wrong.

Often criticism comes from above, like a cane that wants to beat and rebuke us. It is not always constructive, most often it is destructive, negative, putting down that which we said or did.

The word “critic” is derived from the Greek word “krino”, which means “separate”, “differentiate” or “select”. Criticism is therefore not per se something bad. Criticism can mean both, there is negative and positive criticism, of which the second is rarely noticed.

But, also negative criticism does not have to be dealt out with the sledgehammer-method. Luther translated here “exhort with all long-suffering”. When we look at the original text, the word “parakaleo” is used. We perhaps know this by the Greek word Parakletos, the Holy Spirit who was sent to us by Jesus. He is not only an exhorter, but also a comforter and helper.

In like manner, negative criticism should build us up and comfort us, instead of simply breaking us down. Finally, we also read here, the power of our little tongue. It is like a sword which can destroy. However, it is also capable of helping someone onto the right path.

So, when you have something to criticise, watch your tongue, the words you say. Be a comforter and someone who builds others up with your words.

With this, I wish you a blessed day

(Translated by Linda Gates)


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