Pristine Grace

Some Thoughts on Criticism
by Charles Spurgeon
Some Thoughts on Criticism

    We have all been guilty of being too critical toward others and we have all experienced the fires of criticism leveled against us. Here are some thoughts concerning being critical and being criticized.

    Regarding being critical, may we always remember that what we criticize others for we are guilty of ourselves (Romans 2:1)!   Also remember, “With the same measure you meter withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38)…you will be criticized in the same proportion that you criticize.  Even if we have good reason to be critical, there is a desire in our criticism to make our own candle shine brighter by exposing the dimness of others. I wonder how much criticism would escape our lips if we thought of these things.

    Regarding being criticized, there is an element of truth in all criticism leveled against us (and sometimes they are grossly understated).  May God give us grace to receive the criticism and improve our character.  Yes, criticism hurts, but do not be too hurt.  Remember all that matters is what God sees.  In the grand scheme of things, it does not matter all that much what men think of you. Paul said to the Corinthians,  “It is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment” (I Corinthians 4:3).  And do not hold a grudge against the one who has criticized you.  “Take heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee: for often times also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others” (Ecc. 7:21-22).  May we be harder on ourselves than we are on others, and may we profit from the criticism that is made toward us. Criticism can be constructive!

    The doctrines of the Gospel, commonly known as the doctrines of grace, are distinguished for this peculiarity above every other, namely, that they sink the creature very low, and present the Lord Jehovah before us as sitting on a Throne, high and lifted up.  So true is this, that the most uneducated Christian may, even if he is incapable of refuting an erroneous discourse, always be able to discover the untruthfulness if it glorifies man at the expense of God.  The merest babe of grace may carry this test with him.  In the midst of the diversity of opinion which he is surrounded, he may always judge, and judge infallibly too, of the truth or falsehood of a doctrine by testing it thus – DOES IT GLORIFY GOD?  If it be so it is true.  Does this exalt man?  Then it must be false.  On the other hand, does it lay man very low, and speak of him in terms which tend to make him feel his guilt?  Then doubtless, it is full of truth. And does it put the crown upon the head of God, and not upon the head of man’s free will, or free agency, or good works? Then assuredly it is a doctrine according to godliness, for it is the very truth of the Lord our God.