Welcome to the CWA Radio Network.
You are listening to A Musing hosted by me, Heather Randall.
What if every thought is deeper than a daydream. What if it's a
seedling from our Heavenly Father, our one true muse, pointing us to something we need to know? Let's embrace the freedom to wonder, take the invitation to explore, and learn everything He has to teach us in this amazing journey of life.
Today I am talking about judgment and criticism and I can tell you that, even as I'm airing right now, I am feeling so much of it inside me, outside me, all around me.
Maybe you are too. Maybe that's why God brought you here at this moment at this time. Before we go too far, let's just go ahead and pray. I'm gonna be speaking from the heart today. There's no planned agenda. I have some scriptures, but this is just me and I hope that this time will just touch your heart. So,
Abba Father, I pray that you would just give me your words today.
keep me in your plan and in step with your will. Guard my tongue and take control. Teach us what you need us to know about judgment and criticism today. Father, block off fear at the door. Fill us with knowledge of your presence and stop anything that would impede the success you have orchestrated for us from the very beginning of our existence. Whether it's put there by ourselves or others, Lord, I just pray that you would remove any obstacles. Let nothing set us off course for our purpose. Father,
revived us with a fresh anointing today. Do a new work in us and bring joy onto the scene so that we can exhale others opinions and breathe in your truth, Father, without your truth we can't experience true peace. So, Father, I just pray that you would fill us with it today. In your name I pray.
Now, when we talk about judging and criticism I'm saying specifically that it can hinder success. Not all judgment can hinder success. Not all criticism can hinder success.
Let me give you some examples of some positive judgments and positive criticism and where they could could lead to success. Now we know, of course, with the court of law in physical judgments (as in a case with a judge in a jury) there are times when that judgment or that ruling is going to protect us. That would make it a good judgment.
Sometimes it's calling a spade a spade. It's telling the truth about a situation.
God didn't call us to be liars. He didn't want us to mask sin with acceptance, but He wants us to be . . . He wants us to know the truth. But judgment is this balancing act. You see, we have to be
careful with it. The same for criticism.
Now. I'm a writer and I I like to put my books through critique. A critique group will help me to improve my craft. They tell me where I'm consistently making errors so that I can work on those skills, develop them, and improve.
Some critique, when it's done with the heart of compassion and to improve us, not to put us down . . . some judgments, when they're meant to bring safety and protection and provision for people versus hurting them, are good.
When the intent shifts, when judgments become a way of pointing the finger and criticism becomes a way of blame they're no longer positive. They're no longer good. They can lead to negative speech, gossip, Lashon Hara (which is a topic I've covered before which means evil speech).
It can create hard feelings-- hurt. It can wound us. But here's the thing, so often when we're judging, it starts out with self-criticism. Usually, the people who judge others are finding something lacking in themselves.
And I'll be truthful in that, when I have found myself being critical of others, there has been a component of of my own self-doubt. My own insecurities kind of bleed into---
-- Not that criticism is a lie necessarily, but that sometimes it doesn't need to be said.
The Bible puts it this way: This is Philippians 4:8-9
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
I want peace. I don't know about you, but I want peace. In my opening prayer, I asked for joy at the end of this episode.
I want joy. I want peace. I want to move forward without feeling hindered.
Sometimes I'm my worst enemy. I'm the one hindering my success because I'm critical of myself. I can hurt myself worse than anybody else can. I can tell myself lies about myself that bring me
down. Can you do that? Do you do that? I talk hatefully against myself.
You know, just the other day (and I thought I was being silly and I thought I was being-- you know, goofy and light-hearted with my
children) I said "Oh boy, I wish I had my son's ears and my daughter's chin and my other daughter's cute little pixie nose. It
actually does look like a pixie nose. It's just like a perfect fairy nose. I'd want my other daughter's lips and and another daughter's hair color and basically what I was saying out loud (in front of my children) thinking that I'm building up then to tell them the things of themselves I admire physically.
Of course I often tell them all the things that I admire of them in their character, in their spiritual walk, the things that I admire in them. But I was physically pointing out areas of them that I loved, and so I thought (you know in my head) I'm thinking oh I'm being so encouraging to them right now.
And my daughter looked at me and she was just so irritated with me and I didn't understand why at first. And then I started to think about what I just said.
I had just verbally reconstructed myself in front of my children.
I had verbally attacked my entire face. I had torn it to pieces and tried to make it something it wasn't in my head. I had said that the way that God created me, with this itty bitty chin that is
turning into a wattle isn't okay. And you know what? God loves me warts and all. God loves every part of me, the outside, the
inside, and the upside down. And so, by tearing myself down, I only hindered my success at what I was trying to accomplish --which was building up their self-esteem. I was tearing down my own and I didn't even see it.
Sometimes we can attack ourselves in subtle ways that we don't see. Sometimes we can do it deliberately, telling ourselves that we're not good enough; that we're not worthy.
Sometimes we criticize ourselves by comparing ourselves to others. You know, I'm in a writers group and frequently we hear other writers saying "I'm not a real writer because I haven't
published yet" or "I'm not . . ." and discounting their efforts by comparing themselves with others who have maybe found more current success.
They can't see the future tough. We can't see the future. We can't know what God is going to do in us and we don't know what
that other person has been through to get them where they are. Maybe we don't want that struggle. Maybe God is gonna make our path smoother. It just takes a little longer.
Comparing ourselves to others is very dangerous for our success
because God didn't want us to be other people. He wanted us for a specific calling and a specific purpose. He placed us right where he wanted us to be, in a place where no one else could meet that need. When were telling ourselves lies, we need to remember to tell ourselves "whatever is true . . . to think on the truth. Think about what's right."
When I'm operating in self criticism I'm thinking about what's wrong with me. "I can't do this right" or "I can't do that right" or "somebody else is better". I need to be focused on what I can do right and work those skills however God leads me. I need to focus on whatever is pure in me, the essence, the core of my being, that that inward man that God has put there-- that's what I need to be focusing on.
It's hard. When I read this scripture and I think about criticism and the ways that I put myself down, you know I can maybe . ..
"whatever's true" okay.
"whatever is noble, whatever is right" okay.
"whatever is pure. Whatever is lovely" yeah, I got it. I got it. And then we get to "whatever is admirable" and sometimes, when you're criticizing yourself, you don't feel like there's anything admirable in you. You don't feel like there's anything praiseworthy. Those are the times that we really need to get
in step with God's feet and ask Him to remind us who we are in
Him. You see, He had a purpose and a design for us. He knit us together in our mother's womb, not so that we could sit on the
other side of the womb and tell ourselves we're not enough, but so that we could walk out His purpose and plan.
When we do that, God's peace floods the scene. His joy fills us up. So, if you're criticizing yourself today, I want to encourage you to examine. Go through scriptures. Open the Word dive into God's
Word and fill yourself up with His presence. Find your identity in Him, not in yourself. Not in your skills. Not in -- sometimes I do that-- sometimes I find my identity in my skill set. Oh, I'm a good
Mommy or I'm a good Business Owner or I'm a good . . . whatever it may be that day. He wants me to be a good child of the King of Kings. That's all he's worried about so that needs to be my focus.
This year my one-word goal is to abide. I want to abide in His presence and I hope that you will too. Just abide in His presence.
Soak in His love because, I promise you, you are enough.
Now, I want to tell you also that hurt people hurt people. Sometimes, when we're hurting ourselves we can tend to hurt others. The way that we do that, when we're judging ourselves, is to bleed over into other relationships where we're judging others.
James 4 verse 11-12 says
Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister[a] or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
So, if you're judging somebody else, be careful. I don't know
about you but I want to be law abiding.
I want to look at the law of God and I want to be matching it as
closely as humanly possible. I care about His law. I'm passionate about it. I'm teaching it to my children and I'm walking in it as best as I can.
But, when I'm judging somebody else, I'm not keeping the law. I'm breaking it. One person is given the power and the right to judge. We can observe sin in others. We can notice things in others. We
can give caution to our neighbor, in love. See, love covers a multitude of sins. The fact of love, when we live it out, judgment
won't look like judgment. In fact, judgment won't be judgment. It will be compassion.
Without love, judgment is judgment and it wounds and it destroys. See, the Judge, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, our Father God in Heaven, He is the only Judge. He's the only one who's able to save and destroy. See, judgment carries a weight
with it. It has power the power to save someone. Just as I said with our legal system -- the Judges who sit on the bench have the power to save someone, but they also have the power to destroy
someone. How many people have been falsely accused, have had to go to prison for things they did not do, for crimes they did not commit? See, our Father God in Heaven never gets it wrong. He knows exactly every man's heart. He knows what makes us tick. He knows what makes your neighbor tick. He knows what makes your brothers and your sisters tick. He knows the truth of the matter and he is worthy to judge us. Because He can save us, He
can also destroy us.
I don't want to be destroyed. I don't want my relationship with God to be hindered. I don't want to fall short of His glory. I want
to be who He made me to be.
I want to read another scripture here. It says, um let me find it . . .
Do everything without grumbling or arguing,
Okay, judgment is disputing. When you're in a judgment situation, if you go to court, if you're in a case and you're meeting the judge,
it's because you're having a dispute.
Philippians 2: 14- 16 is what I'm reading. It says:
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation,
Would you say we're in a crooked and perverse generation now? I
would. I want to be above reproach. let's keep reading. It says:
among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
I want to not be grumbling and disputing. I don't want to fight
anymore. The fight in me has got up and left. I've been doing it too long. I've fought myself. I've fought others. I've sat in the judgment seat on myself and others and I found everyone around me lacking. It's time to get off the bench. Only one person has the right to that seat, and that's the Father God. I want to be proven blameless and innocent before Him. We're in a perverse generation. It's a fact. We're in a crooked time and, I believe, it's going back to the "as in the days of Noah."
I believe it's happening as scripture says. It's heading that way more and more and we see it in our world every day. But in our world, were supposed to be a light.
We're supposed to be different. We're supposed to be holding fast to the Word of Life which is Him-- His entire Word-- front to back back to front. That even includes the law that I'm breaking when I'm judging somebody else. I need to be holding fast to all of it: His grace, His mercy, and His law, which is instruction for my life.
I have to hold on to all of it and I can't hold on to it if I'm judging
someone else. I can't be that light if I'm judging myself. When I do, when I can't think on those things that are true and those things that are worthy and beautiful, then Christ will have all
the reason to glory in me. I'll give Him glory just by being.
I want to give Him glory just by being.
If you're judging somebody else, stop it. Stop it. Stop it. Stop it. You're hurting yourself you're weakening your witness. You're harming another person and you're harming yourself. You're stepping into a position that is not yours. You're being less than what you were made to be.
If you're judging yourself, stop it. Stop it. Stop it. You're precious in God's eyes. He calls you the apple of His eye. He has your name engraved in the palm of His hand. He dances in Heaven when He
thinks about you!
The scripture is full of all the ways that prove that you matter to him just as you are.
Don't let judgment and criticism hinder your success. Don't let them be obstacles that block the path to your purpose. Use them wisely. Take criticism from others with a grain of salt. Examine them. Pray about them. Dismiss what God doesn't want you to hear and make changes where he meets you.
When another judges you, let it take you to your knees. Ask God if there's anything in you, daily. Ask God "is there anything in me that you want to remove? You be my Judge, Father."
Give Him that power to speak life and death to you, to bring awareness to you when you're not on the right path. Give Him the power.
Don't give anyone else that right. They don't have it. No one has the right to judge you but God Himself. Exhale their opinions. Everybody has an opinion on what you can do better. You can ask
anyone around you what's wrong with you and they'll probably all have something to contribute. We can never please everyone and we don't have to.
Your mission in life is to please the Father God. He's the only one that matters.
You know how many times He asked His followers to leave behind? Leave your family behind. Let the dead bury the dead. Come with me. Don't worry about what other people think. Don't worry about that relationship. Don't worry about the person who's gonna talk you out of following me, that person who's gonna criticize your decision to just leave it all and follow. Put them aside. I mean what matters now? That's what God is saying. I'm what matters now. No other voice should be stronger than His today.
Today I did something I didn't want to do. Just to be honest, I have marks all over my hands to prove that I did something I didn't
want to do, but I did it because God asked me to. God told me to, not even just asked, He told me to. I will obey Him even when I don't want to. Will you? Have you given Him the ability and the right to be your judge? I hope that you have and I hope that you let Him be the only one in your life in that position.