Tuesday Morning Devotion (Criticism)

We’re not in charge of how you live out the faith, looking over your shoulders, suspiciously critical. We’re partners, working alongside you, joyfully expectant. I know that you stand by your own faith, not by ours.2 Corinthians 1:24 (The Message)

This morning my shower was rudely interrupted by a smoke alarm. Now there was no smoke. It’s done this before, but generally on a very cold morning when there is a great deal of steam. But this morning, there was no such thing—just clear air.

Beep! Beep! Beep!

I got out, dried off enough to cross the hall, and punched the little button that says, “I heard you. Shut up!” But the machine wasn’t interested in shutting up. So I punched the button again, and it finally did.

Now I should let you know here that Jody was still asleep. Otherwise I probably would have simply endured the noise of the smoke alarm and finished my shower. But I’d rather she get whatever sleep she can.

I got back in the shower to wash my hair, and just as I had the shampoo properly lathered up, guess what?

Beep! Beep! Beep!

Quick rinse, grab a towel, run to the alarm, punch the button.

Beep! Beep! Beep!

Punch it again!

Beep! Beep! Beep!

Again!

Beep! Beep! Beep!

Finally I pulled the machine off the wall, unplugged it’s power, and removed its battery.

Have you experienced someone who is much like my smoke alarm? You think you’re doing well, and they jump into your work, your fun, or your life. Beep! Beep! Beep!

You aren’t sure just what’s wrong, and you say so. But: Beep! Beep! Beep!

You do your best to fix things, but it doesn’t matter: Beep! Beep! Beep!

Finally, you just mentally turn off what they say completely. You don’t associate with them any more. Generally they believe they are just trying to help you, but by the way they do it, and by being overcritical, they have closed your ears to their correction. That’s the difference between correction in love and a critical attitude.

Now, there’s a more important question: Have you been the person going Beep! Beep! Beep!

Prayerfully look for the balance between “speaking the truth in love” and being a critic.

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