How do you see the world around you? How do you see yourself? Do you struggle with seeing yourself or other people in a healthy light? Do you find it hard to not complain about your life circumstances or other people? If so, I’d like to offer some helpful ideas that may help you.
First, you may be asking about the blog title and the image. A critical mindset and a critical spirit are essentially the same thing. They are a negative pattern of thoughts and beliefs about yourself and others and they flow out of what’s in a person’s heart.
The only real difference is that a critical spirit also points to a demonic spirit that capitalize on what’s being planted in a person’s heart. Where do I think these seeds come from? For one, you and I are not born with a critical nature. Rather, a critical mindset is either a learned behavior, life circumstances and yes, an open door to the occults.
I have good news for you. You and I do not have to remain that way! How do I know? It’s because I had to overcome my own critical mindset. I will thank Jesus for healing my heart in a multitude of ways. I will share some of it, later in this article. However, I will point out that it is not an overnight process.
When you have a critical spirit; you’re not just critical of other people. You can also be critical of yourself and life circumstances. For instance, I was taught to not expect negative and duplicitous behaviors from other people because of my physical disabilities.
In truth, my father was trying to prepare me for what he believe to be a reality. His perception of reality was based on the ’50s and ’60s and the future really not kind to people with disabilities. However, he never imagined the changes that were forthcoming.
Sadly, I took this fact to heart and it cultivated a combative view of the world, around me. At the same time, I was met with frustrations and depression as I grew older. I had other circumstances that also fed into this toxic mindset and undermined my confidence.
How did I overcome my own critical spirit? For one, it helps to know that a critical spirit isn’t just a person who sits in judgement on everyone and everything. It’s also a person who’s prone to complaining and sees the world, as dark and dismal. Though they may put on a show, a critical person has trouble seeing a hopeful future.
I think you can see where I came in. How did I overcome this dreadful mindset? I definitely did not do it, in my own strength! Receiving help does not make you, a weak person. It takes both humility and strength to do get help. For me, it began with God helping me, to forgive those who hurt me.
Forgiveness is just the starting point in the healing process. It is also a crucial step and it shouldn’t be overlooked. Though it was not intentional, I had to forgive my father for unwittingly teaching me to see the world, as a dark and dreary place.
That’s the easy one. How about forgiving the people who abused you or badly mistreated you? I know from personal experience that it is not easy. That’s why I’m glad that God, the Father gave me, the strength to forgive.
What God did for me; he can do for you. For God is no respecter of person! (Acts 10:34)
You may think that I’d not advocate getting counseling. Think, again! I’ve been the recipient of many such help and I’m thankful for the people that Jesus brought into my life. By the way, I just gave you a hint at another step towards overcoming a critical mindset. It is hard to be critical when you have cultivated an attitude of thankfulness and appreciation.
Years ago, I was listening to a teaching, from Dr. Charles Stanley. He was doing a teaching on overcoming depression. In the video, he suggested writing down, all your blessings. Sounds corny? Not really. As depression is an effect of a critical mindset; it can be a difficult task to write down what you’re thankful for.
For this reason, Charles Stanley suggested that you not be afraid to ask the Holy Spirit for help. Why? For we’re not always aware of how God has blessed us and what we should be thankful for. It’s a good idea and worth trying. If you’re just starting such a list; it’s going to be small. Keep asking God to help you to grow that list.
Did you notice that I keep encouraging you to talk with Jesus, about overcoming such a negative spirit? It’s not just because I’m a committed Christian and you’re reading a blog post on Christianity Explained. I’m encouraging you to seek a relationship with God, the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.
Believe it or not, prayer is not a set of incantations or ritualist set of words designed to achieve certain results. Rather, it is an honest heartfelt talk with God. Guess what? God is not looking for an excuse to zap you, with a lightning bolt! You can begin by asking Jesus to show you, the Father.
Why is this an important step towards overcoming a critical mindset? For one, the person who is critical lives in fear and has an overwhelming need to be in control. With fear in the driver’s seat, it is hard to see a hopeful outcome. Do you not know that God is love? It is God’s perfect love that casts out all fears!
If you give yourself to the love of God, the Father then you need not live in fear of punishment or anything else. Yes, I do know this to be a learning process. It takes time to learn to leave it in God’s hands. I have yet to meet a man or woman that has arrived. You can’t do this and not have a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus.
Do not think that I’ve forgotten about God’s Word. Do you find physically reading to be challenging? May I suggest an easy solution. Each morning, I listen to an audio version of the Scriptures. In fact, I’m using the Bible In One Year by Nicky Gumbel and his wife, Pippin. Each day starts with a helpful teaching then a verbal reading of selected portions of the Bible.
Here is another step towards overcoming a critical mindset and it’s totally secular and God used it, for my good. I got involved with a disability advocacy group and disability group working with the mayor’s office. It’s because I got involved in the community, my heart’s attitude soon changed for the better. This action lead to my seeing that the world is not so gray; as I supposed.
Over time, it became easier and easier to confront the lies of the Devil. I say “lies” because that is what I was believing. As each lies got tossed out, I needed more of God’s truth to come in and replace the lies that I believed. I am thankful that God has been faithful and true to help me. It was done both supernaturally and through other people.
As a hope-filled realist, I need to point something out. If you place your hope and trust in that which is fallible then you’re going to be hurt and disappointed. As a realist, I will say this. When you get tired of trying to overcome your critical mindset in your own strength; I would humbly suggest placing your hope in God, instead.
If it were easy then I’d not have suggested this. I do trust that this blog post has been a help and a blessing to you. Do not be afraid to talk with God about what you’re reading.