Criticism of others is a sin! It is a sin we find easy to excuse in ourselves if we label it "constructive criticism" Rather than encouraging and helping our friends, we stifle their personalities and stunt their growth as persons by our "constrictive" comments. Critical comments can be destructive and damaging in the lives of other people. And we who engage in the deadly practice of habitually criticizing others are guilty of a deep-rooted sin, the sin of pride. For this reason, the Bible teaches that criticism of others is very wrong, and leads to serious consequences.
How should we deal with our tendency to criticize others, once we recognize and confess this sin? God has incorporated the answer right here in Numbers 12.
Just knowing the seriousness of this sin should help us put a seal on our lips and be afraid to criticize others (Numbers:12:8
). Furthermore, we should be like Moses and not retaliate. So often our criticism of others is "return fire"! Notice that Moses did not take verbal revenge--even though it would have been easy for him to have done so from his position of authority. He followed the Scriptural principle of "never take your own revenge" (Romans:12:19
No wonder verse 3 mentions Moses' humility! Like Moses, we should pray for others--even those who criticize us (v13). It's amazing how our criticism of another person tapers off as we begin to pray specifically and sincerely for that person.
There is always a place for legitimate, helpful and constructive criticism in our relationships with other people.To be sure that our comments are not constrictive criticism, we should follow two Scriptural principles:
1-"private confrontation", found in Matthew:18:15
. Let us make our constructive comments directly to the person--not behind his back. And let us do it in private--not in front of others.
2-"log before splinter" principle found in Matthew:7:3-5
Let us make sure that the "telephone pole is out of our own eye" before we try to remove "specks of sawdust" from the eyes of others! If we follow these Scriptural principles, our comments to others can be truly helpful and constructive--not constrictive!