The Dangers of Criticism: What One Must Know In Order To Grow…

We live in a time today where everyone has an opinion. It doesn’t matter whether it’s their lives or not, someone always has something to say. A critic, professionally sanctioned or not, sole purpose is to criticize what others do. No one knows exactly why someone chooses to be a critic, but I’d like to think that I speak for many when I say, ‘Enough is enough!’

I’m not talking about those people who professionally criticize movies or restaurants for the sake of making a living; although they may be a headache for those particular business or brands. No, I’m talking about those critics who criticize people just for fun, entertainment, or likes. I’ll never understand why someone chooses to speak on someone else’s life in a negative manner, but that’s because I choose not to care. I understand the sole principle that it’s not my business to get so involved in other people’s lives where I’m slamming them online for whatever choices they made or make in their lives. Yes we all have interests in people, family, friends, or even celebrities; however, it doesn’t give any of us the right to comment / post a negative response or criticism about personal choices they’ve made for their lives. If you don’t like what someone is doing or saying, move on. Unfollow them, stop supporting them and keep it moving. No one wants to receive negativity, especially in a world that’s full of destruction, famine and hate. Like my grandma always said, “There are bigger fish to fry!”

I’m so sick and tired of seeing and hearing people who say they love Christ judge other fellow lovers and members of Christ’s church. Left and right, I’ve seen countless internet trolls, spectators and commentators mocking, judging and putting down other Christians because of their beliefs, political views, business ventures, relationship / marital status, what day(s) they worship Christ, the foods they eat, what they wear and if they go to an actual church building to worship or not. 

NEWS FLASH: No one is better than the next! We are ALL sinners! 

Anyone who thinks themselves better than the next is a fool. The same Christ that died on the cross for you, died on the cross for me too. Believe it or not, He died for ALL of our sins, not just some of us. I found a wonderful chapter in the bible today that talks specifically about the dangers in criticizing folk. Allow me to share this wisdom with you. 

“Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them…

In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God. For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 

Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead. So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures say, “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to God. ’” Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall. 

I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. 

So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up. Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble. You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.” (Romans‬ ‭14:1-3, 5-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

     

Now that was some true gems of wisdom, wasn’t it?! Seven years ago, I too made the conscious decision to adapt a vegan diet. I never ate beef nor pork, was never a seafood lover and chicken and turkey were starting to make me feel sick. I saw a video in college which showed the tortures of the animals I was eating and it broke my heart. After constantly being sick from the meat and seeing that disturbing video, I made the decision for my life to stop eating and consuming anything that came from an animal. A plant based diet was the life for me. In choosing this path, I also gave up drinking any type of sugary or alcoholic drinks. I don’t place my views on others since I believe in the philosophy, ‘To each its own.’ I don’t command, demand, condemn nor criticize anyone else for eating meat, drinking wine, etc. 

I love to cook, host holiday parties and am always glad to share my recipes with anyone willing to try my yummy, delicious treats and healthy vegan, organic alternatives. I don’t force my way of dining and living upon another. Even during the holidays, like Thanksgiving, I make my own vegan-gluten free (because I have an allergy to gluten) alternatives from scratch and share them with anyone willing to give it a try. Most are brave, some not so much. Regardless of my personal feelings towards eating turkey, cow and chicken, I don’t shame anyone nor stop them from eating it in front of me at the dinner table (even though my loved ones have teased me about what I’m missing from eating meat, I simply reply, ‘poor animals’ and continue my vegan meal). Understand that this is my family and even though we make light of our individual food choices, no one is seriously criticizing how or what someone else is eating. 

Just like I don’t condemn anyone for eating meat, I also don’t criticize anyone for going to church on certain days nor how often they read / study their Bible. Everybody’s different and that’s what makes us unique. Just because I choose to read and study my bible everyday doesn’t mean I have the right to criticize someone else who doesn’t. It’s not our jobs to judge. As I stated in yesterday’s post, Jesus only gave us one simple job to do,

“This is my command: Love each other.” (John‬ ‭15:17‬ ‭NLT‬)

So let’s all stop the judgement and sacrilegious criticism in the name of Jesus. We all fall short of God’s glory and we’re all created to God’s liking. Don’t judge someone, pray for them! Don’t critique what you cannot do nor understand, instead ask God for guidance in your own life. I challenge you this week, if you’ll humbly accept it, every time you feel the urge to judge or criticize a person, don’t. Instead pick up your bible, an app or book it doesn’t matter, and open it up to Romans 14. If it’s easier for you to do, then come back to this post. Read it again and as you read it, think about the greatest question ever written: What Would JESUS Do? Go with that good thought instead of doing what that bad thought is telling you to do. Share love not hate. Comment positively instead of negatively. Criticize no one for being different. Pray for everyone and always remember this major key alert,

“Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” (Luke‬ ‭6:31‬ ‭NLT‬)

Sincerely with love, 

~A.G.Rogers

(Instagram: @AndreaGees)
Travel photography by IG user: @_enk

7 Comments

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  1. G’day

    There is a little Pharisee in all of us I reckon, and we need to continue to starve that part of us until we are just loving each other. Great scripture in todays post Andrea and a good call to action! I have found myself praying that I show the same amount of Grace to others that I have been shown by God and other Christians over the years, imagine if believers were doing that! Thanks for sharing.

    P.S what impact did cutting out the sugary drinks have on your mind and body if I can ask

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, I pray your week is going well. To answer your question, overall I just felt better. Taking care of my body and watching what I eat allows me to know exactly what’s going into my body, my calorie, sugar and sodium intake as well as if there are any allergies that may develop, I’m able to pinpoint exactly where it’s coming from. Overall, I just feel genuinely healthier than I did when I ate meats and drank alcohol and sugary beverages. I can tell how my body reacts to things like salt and processed sugar now.

      I’m glad to see that you’ve taken the initiative and started offering grace to others. How’s that been going for ya? Hopefully well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen sister. I always say spread love not hate. We are all brothers and sisters, and we should all get along. I’ve always wished we lived in a world where there was world peace. 💙. #letsloveeachother

    Liked by 1 person

  3. To each his own! What you eat don’t make me poop & vice versa! We are all a work in progress so…. I will continue to work on me & be pleasing to Allah! 😘 (Basically saying the same thing you write for anyone who may take this post wrong 💯😊)

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