Have you ever been the recipient of some sharp criticism by someone who either should have known better or someone who didn’t know what they were talking about to begin with? Have you ever been in a crowd where you saw such criticism take place and wondered, “What in the world were they thinking?” Worse yet, have you ever been the one to speak that stinging criticism? I’m sure if each of us would be honest, we’ve all been a part of all three–unfortunately, including the last one. I know I’ve been guilty of looking at certain people through “black-colored glasses,” and seeing in them only the negatives that I think I perceive. I recently saw a situation where several people became so upset with what they thought they were seeing in someone, that they separated themselves from him and from his friends. It turned out that what they were accusing him of had a perfectly logical and appropriate reason behind it. Unfortunately, the accusers had made a big deal of their criticism and were unable to take a step back and offer their apologies.
While some people have a hard time with the Bible, read what Matthew had to say in chapter 7, verses 1-5: “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.”
Sounds like a great suggestion to me–unless you like being bombarded by boomerangs.