Like many people, when I read a newspaper or magazine I notice the misteaks in grammar and spelling. (You saw that, didn’t you!) I’m not trying to find errors; they leap off the page at me! My usual reaction is to criticize the publication and the people who produce it. “Why don’t they use ‘spell check’ or hire a proofreader?”
You may have a similar experience in your area of expertise. It seems that often, the more we know about something, the more judgmental we become over mistakes. It can infect our relationships with people as well.
Yet Philippians 1:9 expresses a different approach. Paul wrote, “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;” God’s plan is that the more we know and understand, the more we love. Rather than cultivating a critical spirit and pretending we don’t notice or don’t care, our understanding should nourish empathy. Criticism is replaced by compassion.
Instead of our being faultfinders, the Lord calls us to be “Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” (v. 11).
When the Lord fills our hearts, we can overlook mistakes, hold our criticism, and love others, no matter how much we know about them!
Lord, by Your grace, please replace my critical spirit with Your love and compassion for others.
To err is human; to forgive, divine. —Alexander Pope