Word of the Day:Overcoming a Critical Spirit


“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” (James 4:1-12).

In life, our own frustrations can lead to a critical attitude. If life is not turning out the way we desire, we hide our own frustrations by finding fault with others. Judging others comes naturally to us.  In the book of Matthew 7:1, Jesus told us not to judge “lest you be judged”.  When we judge others we create an atmosphere void of love, because judgment is saying that you are better than the other person or you can do better than they did. God wants us to live in peace at all times with one another. Paul exhorts us this way, “Always be humble and gentle. Patiently put up with each other and love each other. Try your best to let God’s Spirit keep your hearts united. Do this by living in peace“. (Ephesians 4:2, 3)

Peace is more important than all justice. Peace is the absence of dissension or violence. Peace has always been among humanity’s highest values. It is tranquility, harmony, peace of mind and goodness among others. What causes an atmosphere that creates dissension or war? It starts from one person or individuals who feel different. In most cases these are those who feel like their needs are not being addressed or they have not benefited from the decisions that have been made.  The Bible describes this as having a “critical spirit”.


A critical spirit does not only destroy or affect the individual, but also affects others. Critical people are hurting people who need deliverance. This spirit when left unchecked over time, prevents one from seeing and appreciating the goodness of the Lord in the past, now and in the future. It also blinds one to even the gifts of others in the church or even in the workplace. This spirit works hand in hand with the spirit of pride. The danger of this spirit is that we do not realize its power to affect, damage and even destroy a family, church, community or even a nation.


This spirit has become very influential in destroying many churches and ministries. In the book of James chapter 4 he is warning the believers to stop speaking against one another. He clearly points out the root cause of the fighting, quarreling and bickering among themselves; he says it is because of the unregenerate mind, or simply carnality.  It is very sad that many of our churches are full of “unconverted believers.”  These are church going people who profess Christ, but are not changed.  They have the talk of a believer, but their mind and actions are that of an unbeliever. Paul lists for us what we should be filling our minds with on a daily basis in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell (take an inventory) on these things.


How do you overcome a critical spirit? First, it is by having a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Second, it is by spending transforming time with him in prayer and study of His word, the Bible. When you do these things you are being transformed in your thinking or renewing your mind. Romans 12:1-2 tells us that the way we are “transformed”; the way we learn to live Christ’s life, is by the renewing of our minds. Ephesians 4:22-24 exhorts us to “… put off concerning the former conversation the old man which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind ; and that ye put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” It is putting off negative and corrupt thinking and putting on God’s thoughts. In the Bible Joseph was sold by his own brothers when he was 17 years old. He could have spent the rest of his life resenting and being critical about his brothers, but he chose to respond to them the God-way. As a result he made a very big impression in a foreign land,Egypt, and was even promoted to be prime minister, only second to Pharaoh. The only way Joseph could possibly have made this impression was by constantly “putting off” his own natural bitterness and resentments and putting on God’s wisdom and understanding, thereby being able to see all that happened to him not from his own viewpoint, but from God’s viewpoint. You and I can do the same; we can choose not to talk bout others in a negative way. We can choose instead to use our tongues to bless others.


Have a great week and stay prayed up. I look forward to seeing you this weekend in our spring conference starting on Friday March the 8th at 7:00 pm and ending on Sunday March the 9th at the Beverley Heritage Hotel, Milpitas, California. For details about the conference’s meeting times and speakers, visit: www.vesselforhonor.org

By Evangelist Isabella Mwango


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