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For the week of July 24, 2023 Speaking Against the Spirit of Criticism

If you’ve ever been criticized, you know how frustrating it is to be on the receiving end of it. To criticize is to find fault with; facing it often feels like we’re being judged and deemed to have fallen short of someone else’s standards. A critical spirit is harmful to relationships because it has the effect of tearing down the other person, and the potential to alienate them. We defeat this destructive spirit by letting the grace of God point out when it shows up to cause trouble.

We all have occasional disagreements, but sometimes they can escalate into full-scale arguments. Close friends who know each other’s flaws and shortcomings can blurt them out in anger, turning their words into hurtful weapons. They later regret what they said, but the damage has been done. At times like these it’s better to say nothing until we can speak rationally again; a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Our mouths can get us in trouble. No one can tame the tongue; it’s an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless God while cursing others; these things shouldn’t be. Being sharp-tongued is just as productive as a fountain that sends forth both sweet and bitter water.
God gives us plenty of warnings against criticism. Too much talk leads to sin; we’re therefore told to be sensible and keep our mouths shut. A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit; watching our tongues and keeping our mouths shut helps us stay out of trouble.

There are plenty of spirits roaming the world, but not all of them are from God. Having the discernment to know which ones to avoid keeps us from sinning with our mouths and hurting others. We stay safe when we remain sensitive to God’s guidance in this area.


God, You gave us mouths to bless others and speak grace over them. The devil wants us to use them instead to criticize others and tear them down. Thank You for giving us the authority to defeat the enemy by speaking Your Word. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Proverbs 15:1, NKJV

James 3:8-11

Proverbs 10:19, NLT

Proverbs 15:4, NIV

Proverbs 21:23, NLT
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