Today I thought more about what it means to accept people unconditionally, to believe the best about them, and fight a critical spirit. When I feel tempted to criticize or try to improve others, I remember to fight a critical spirit with thanksgiving, acceptance, and celebration. This applies to church, workplace relationships, and even between family members.
But how? You can thank God for everything you love about that person (and even tell that person what you admire and respect about them). You can accept who they are and love them unconditionally without having to change or improve them. And you can celebrate the unique way God made that person. Nobody thrives in an environment where a critical spirit has taken root. Everyone wilts and goes into hiding.
Often people become critical when they cannot rest in a certain situation. They look for the false peace of demanding change or making external adjustments because they believe this will create the peace for which they long. But it doesn’t; they’ll move on to the next thing to criticize. The opposite of a critical spirit is a spirit of contentment and thanksgiving. And it trusts in God’s timing and work around us without us becoming demanding, fearful, or unsettled.
For the month of May, I think of the mindset shift that fights a critical spirit.