The critical spirit is a bridge between judgement and condemnation. We all need sound judgement but if our character is infected by a critical spirit, we become condemnatory.
Understand the Bible.
The Bible is a guide for life today. It’s a book that needs translating not just from the language and or culture of many thousands of years ago when it was written. The Bible needs explaining and expanding upon by men and women who due to diligent study of the scriptures via The Holy Spirit in conjunction with their educated minds understand and can translate the written words into life enhancing meanings for the time we find ourselves in.
The subject of Judgement and condemnation is a prime example of this. Let’s look at what Jesus says through this well-known scripture in the book of Mathew.
Matthew 7 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)
Judging others via a critical spirit.
7 ‘Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way as you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 ‘Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
If we take the same scripture though from The Passion Translation (a recent and I believe very relevant and understandable for today translation of old text) we see the key.
Matthew 7 The Passion Translation (TPT)
Do Not Judge via a critical spirit!
7 “Refuse to be a critic full of bias toward others, and judgment[a] will not be passed on you. 2 For you’ll be judged by the same standard that you’ve used to judge others. The measurement you use on them will be used on you.[b] 3 Why would you focus on the flaw in someone else’s life and yet fail to notice the glaring flaws of your own?[c] 4 How could you say to your friend, ‘Let me show you where you’re wrong,’ when you’re guilty of even more? 5 You’re being hypercritical and a hypocrite! First acknowledge your own ‘blind spots’ and deal with them, and then you’ll be capable of dealing with the ‘blind spot’ of your friend.
It’s not judgement that is wrong it’s how we judge or put another way in what spirit we judge. Again The Passion says “Refuse to be a critic full of bias toward others, and judgment[a] will not be passed on you. In other words, don’t allow a critical spirit to enter you or your thinking and you will be OK.
We all need to judge, Jesus isn’t telling us not to judge, or put another way not to make assessments of people, things and situations. He is telling us to be careful from what spirit we judge. If we judge from a critical spirit of malicious judgment that will become a bridge, we travel upon from sound assessment to condemnation of the person or situation we are considering. Let’s look in Romans at what Paul says regarding this.
Romans 8 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)
Life through the Spirit.
8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death.
This scripture has mostly been misrepresented by church folk. It is most often portrayed as a gift from God. Meaning a believer can’t be condemned in various physical and spiritual ways. I believe we can progress to that conclusion. But the scripture is an instruction for us believers not to condemn others rather than we will not face condemnation.
How do we avoid condemning others? Well it’s back to the judgement thing. If we judge via the Holy Spirit revelation available to every believer. We will take a different bridge than the bridge of criticism that leads to condemnation of others and ultimately ourselves. Through The Holy Spirit you judge a Holy way. You will stride confidently across a bridge of Love, wisdom, mercy, grace, and encouragement to a place of peace for everything and everybody concerned. Take the Holy bridge of judgement not the critical one. It will work out better for all concerned in the end I promise.