Constructive Criticism

Posted by Karah

Consider Tyne Daly’s quote and the definition of criticism below.
“A critic is someone who never actually goes to the battle, yet who afterwards comes out shooting the wounded.”—Tyne Daly, actress

• The expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes

1 Now, read Matthew 7:1-6, focusing on the first two verses. Ask yourself:

  • What do these verses have to do with criticism?
  • What are the key words in this passage?
  • What do you think Jesus meant when He advised His followers not to judge others?
  • Should believers never confront the sin of others? Why or why not?
  • What’s the difference between holding someone accountable and condemning someone? Explain.

The Point

As believers, we are supposed to be the gracious presence of God to those around us, but we aren’t to turn a blind eye to their sin. Jesus isn’t saying we should never confront sin; He is saying we should do so in humility, recognizing our own sinfulness and need for grace. Our words shouldn’t condemn, but rather draw others closer to Christ.

Behind the Story

The word translated “judge” in these verses was a Greek word that can imply to analyze or evaluate, as well as to condemn or avenge. Believers are clearly called to discern (analyze and evaluate); but judgment—in the sense of condemnation or avenging—belongs solely to God.

Going Deeper

So, how do you put this into practice in real life? Consider Jesus’ example. He often had some pretty harsh things to say to the religious leaders of His day—and even to His own disciples. For more, read:

  • Mark 8:33
  • Mark 12:24
  • John 4:1-26
  • John 8:1-11

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