What is criticism? The base meaning of the word is critic–someone who reviews and expresses a negative or positive opinion. Criticism has it’s purpose– it is designed to help people to grow, and to expose areas that need to be purged or at least improved in their lives. When it is negative criticism, the purpose is thwarted and produces bad fruit.
Was Jesus critical of His disciples? Yes, he was. Example: Matthew 17:15, 16 KJV revised.
There is a man whose son is plagued with seizures. The disciples, despite all of Jesus’ teachings, cannot heal him.
“LORD, have mercy on my son; for he is lunatic (luna-moon) and sore vexed; for oftentimes he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to Your disciples and they could not cure him.”
Verses 17, 18, 19, and 20: Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to me”. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, “Why could we not cast him out”? And Jesus said unto them, “Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
This was an example of criticism. What was Jesus’ intention in telling them of their unbelief? To strengthen their belief. To inspire the disciples to embrace all that He was teaching them, and to recognize the power they possessed through Christ. This was positive criticism. It was designed to promote growth.
Negative criticism is designed to hurt and tear down. Pray that you can distinquish between the positive and the negative, for you do not want to discourage GOD’s people through tearing their spirits apart and leaving them in despair.
Have a criticism? Intend for it to help someone to grow, and make sure that the Voice of The LORD has uttered the words.
Likewise, try the Spirit if you have a tendency to interpret all criticism as negative. There are those lead by GOD to deliver you and me from error.
In His Name,