If a critical spirit were a spiritual gift I would be a guru.

But like most vices, its easily enough dismissed as something positive. I can quite naturally present it as discernment. I can lead others to believe it is a sign of wisdom: I understand the real problem. I really know how to size up the situation.

But in the end it is nothing more than one of the vilest sins a Christian can commit. A critical spirit is in this way a manifestation of pride itself. Pride is, of course, the most frequently repudiated attitude in the Bible. But in many Christian circles today, it has been downgraded as a personality trait of learned men, who can really express themselves only in this way. We act as though a critical spirit is a privilege of the elite.

But then there is Jesus, the logos made flesh: who humbled himself and became a servant. Instead of condescending criticism he chose a water basin and a towel; instead of a caustic attitude a cross.

If I am to criticize someone it should be myself for not being more like him. In this way the only truly constructive criticism is self-criticism.Thus, this post is written for no one but myself, but I suppose even in publishing it, to some measure, I’m betraying my own words.

After all, I am the only person I can really change. God help me.