“Criticism is a part of the ordinary faculty of man: but in the spiritual domain nothing is accomplished by criticism. The effect of criticism is a dividing up of the powers of the one criticized; the Holy Ghost is the only One in the true position to criticize, [sic] He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. It is impossible to enter into communion with God when you are in a critical temper; it makes you hard and vindictive and cruel, and leaves you with the flattering unction that you are a superior person. . . . Beware of anything that puts you in the superior person’s place.”

~Oswald Chambers. “The Uncritical Temper” June 17 My Utmost For His Highest

Chambers goes on to explain that we have no reason to feel superior because of the flaws we have in ourselves and because of the circumstances in the lives of others that we do not know about. I want that uncritical spirit he speaks of! Criticism sends back razor-edged fingers into my own heart saying “you’re just like that person!” and I begin to despair of myself.

I appreciate Chambers’ statement about criticism dividing up the powers of the one being criticized–that’s often how I feel when criticized, especially when I then begin to criticize myself to try to determine the amount of truth in the criticism and what to do about it. I begin to feel heavier and heavier in spirit as though I am carrying a weight that is unbearable yet inexorable. It is almost impossible for me to imagine Jesus Christ’s Holy Spirit being able to criticize me without wounding me; yet I have felt and heard His gentleness in my own life over and over again. And with His “Chriticism” comes the power and joy of knowing what to do in that moment to begin to change–no burden, no weight, just a certain peaceful energy. I’d like to help the Holy Spirit give that to others.