Self Criticism

Sunday, Oct. 12

There’s another spin on the subject of criticism. You might have noticed that I said nothing about criticizing myself. Now this is a different animal altogether. I don’t like it when people criticize me, and I suspect that a lot of people do criticize me without voicing it—at least to me. My take on people criticizing me is one issue, but a more important issue is that I tend to resist criticizing myself. In fact, I avoid it as much as possible. Because of ego, we feel better about calling this “evaluation.” That’s less demeaning. OK, how much do I “evaluate myself? How much do you evaluate yourself? Actually, we instinctively do this. I spend a lot of time thinking how I’m perceived by others. That’s not particularly productive. Recognizing a weakness is not changing it. God wants to change us. We stubbornly resist that. In fact, it takes a work of divine grace to move from knowledge to action. Rom. 12: 2 comes to mind. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.” Note the words “be transformed.” We don’t transform ourselves. God does it. But let us not forget the human responsibility here, as expressed in the first part of the verse. Our failure to be changed into the image of Christ is not failure on God’s part; it’s on our part. So if I continue to criticize others, that’s bad. And if I fail to criticize myself, and if I don’t take action to change, that’s bad. I can’t blame in on God. He wants me to change, and He’s ready to do His part.

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