Critical Spirit

Paul, in his letter to the church at Galatia writes, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Gal 5:22–23, NKJV). He is letting believers know that there are “fruits” that should grow from their life showing evidence that they are a child of God. Believers must take notice that these fruits are good in nature and produce healthy fruit that is good for the feeding of one’s soul and that of others.

Do not confuse these fruits with spiritual gifts, they are not the same. Just like a tree planted by a gardener, these trees require cultivation, care, and work to produce the good fruit. In other words, you need to exercise your spirit in the good things to produce good fruit. If you are wondering why you are not seeing these fruits in your own life, you need only do a self-examination and see how you are spending your time. You cannot blame this on someone else, your “demeanor”, or upbringing. Your fruit is based on your work to grow the fruit produce within you. Jesus said, “those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.” (Mt 15:18). The adage is correct, “garbage in, garbage out.”

The self-proclamation of always being critical is nothing to be proud of. It is neither a fruit of the Spirit, not a spiritual gift given to you by God when you became a Christian. While there is the attempt to “justify” this area of one’s life by saying they are “looking out for the best interest of the church (or an individual),’ or “someone has the be the one to make them think of possibilities.” Those “exercising” this “gift”, do nothing but tear a church down and exhaust fruitful church members. They are easy to spot, just say how much you like something that the church, or a ministry within the church, is doing. The response will be their opinion on why it is bad, or the way that it should have be done to really do it right. They are easy to spot because they tear down instead of building up the body of Christ. They are easy to spot because they are your last minute “advise givers” (interpreted as this is how it should have been done and would have been done if I was in charge).

Back up a few verses in Galatians 5 and you find that those with a constant critical spirit have much more in common with the works of the flesh than the fruit of the Spirit. Paul writes you will see their results in, “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like.” (Ga 5:19–21). If you see this list in your life, fruit will not be produced that is Kingdom enriching. It is time to bring these works to the altar, kill them, and burn them up completely. When you do, God will purge you, the good seed will go deep into your heart, and you will produce good fruit by walking every day in the Spirit. What are you producing, “works of the flesh” or “fruit of the Spirit?”

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