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  • Dr. Tim Morrison

RELATIONAL VAMPIRES—CRITICAL PEOPLE

So we are continuing today with this series called Relational Vampires. Last week we talked about Controlling people. In the next couple weeks we will talk about Needy People and Hypocritical People. But today… This is Something—Unfortunately—All you will face: Critical people


How many of you have someone your life: whose spiritual gift is fault finding?

If you leaned over to the person next to you 3 things don’t like about church we might be talking directly to You this morning.

Maybe you have a Boss that micromanages: You know… You do all these great things at work and there is no comment about them, then the one time you mess up you boss goes through the roof.


Adult: Parents still criticize (Friends Clip) Sometimes we just can’t do anything right as kids no matter how hard we try. And as parents we think we know what our kids should be doing, so we make sure to tell them, especially when they are doing it wrong.

Spouse: Maybe your spouse complains about your Weight or makes jokes about it. Maybe it's the way you Chew your food, or never unload the Dishwasher, or Leave clothes all over the floor, or Wear same stupid shirt all the time.


The church is an easy target: We are too small, Our building isn’t pretty enough — We are too demanding always asking people to Serve. I Don’t preach enough on (insert subject) too much on (insert subject)


We use the Wrong version bible—or we are Too focused unchurched— or our Teaching is too shallow.


Some might say my Clothes too trendy or not formal enough… or too formal.

Worship is too short—Too long—Too loud. We use the organ or we have drums. Our worship times are too early or too late for some.

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“To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” Aristotle


Some of you want to criticize that quote! But here’s the thing…

Follow Jesus—You will be criticized!


HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO CRITICAL PEOPLE? (4)


OFTEN YOU DON’T RESPOND.


Just because someone criticizes you—Doesn’t obligate you to respond.


23 When they hurled their insults at him [Jesus], he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 1 Peter 2:23

Peter in this section is describing Jesus and his example of living. He was saying how people constantly threw insults at Jesus. They called him a friend of sinners, a drunk and a lunatic. However he did not Retaliate or try desperately to Defend himself, nor did he Complain: Instead he Trusted God to take care of these people and deal with them.


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11 A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. Prov 19:11


Overlooking offenses… This isn’t the same as pretending it didn’t happen. It is a Conscious decision to “let it go.” (The Passover) Just like God chose to passover the sins of the israelites in Egypt as he dealt with the sins of the egyptians, it is a Form of forgiveness. You are choosing to Forgive in real time.


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I’ve dealt with a lot of critical people in my life. Sometimes their criticisms of me hurt deeply. They cut to the core. But what gain do we get from trying to react to our critics? We need to Choose to rise above! We don’t have to reply. Your role is to obey God not to answer to critics.


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1. Sometimes you don’t respond.


SOMETIMES, YOU RESPOND CAREFULLY.


Notice the difference between two words… Don’t React—Respond.

Now the Ephraimites asked Gideon, “Why have you treated us like this? Why didn’t you call us when you went to fight Midian?” And they challenged him vigorously. 2 But he answered them… Judges 8:1-2a


Gideon was Criticized sharply. He said to the people, let me Explain what I’ve done and How God worked.

3 …When the men of Ephraim heard Gideon’s answer, their anger subsided. Judg 8:3 NLT

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Maybe Someone has been criticizing you: Why don’t you go Back to school, Are you sure you are called to Ministry, Why would you Stay home and not work, or maybe it's the opposite You are going to Work when you have kids at home?


Sometimes we need to Offer an explanation. This is Not an excuse. You know if I’m complaining about your messy room as a parent… this is not saying I didn’t clean it because I was so tired. No… It is saying, I was really busy with band, play practice, and homework and I haven’t had a chance to get to it yet, but I will.


You see…. often once the Explanation is heard it Makes sense and those who are being critical will back down.

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Sometimes when a Friend unleashes no reason. Co-worker picks apart. Parents are riding you. It can really upset you. If you find yourself in that situation...Wait before respond

When emotions are high. Wisdom is low.

You might go ahead and write the post or the email… but DON’T SEND IT!!! #Don’tHitSend

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Remember—Oftentimes criticism isn’t about you. Most angry people are usually hurting people.


The truth is I’ve never met a well-adjusted, happy, productive and positive person who constantly bangs out hateful comments on Facebook. Behind every anger is a hurt: and when you understand that you can begin to have Compassion for them.

Not going to react— 2. Prayerfully respond wisely.

OCCASIONALLY, YOU LISTEN AND MAKE A CHANGE.


Here’s the truth you don’t want to hear. Sometimes your critics are right!

Everyone tells you that you have a problem—maybe you do.

Your spouse loves you and they say you are yelling too much… Look if you are yelling? There needs to be a change!

Everyone is telling you the person you are dating is the devil. If everyone is saying this… you need to stop and take notice!


31 If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. 32 If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself… Prov 15:31-32 NLT


Throughout my ministry people have made personal critiques of me and my style of leadership and preaching. At one of my first church’s we had four worship services every Sunday. Often I only had 15 minutes in between services and I would literally run to my office and close the door and hide. People would often comment, “where is Tim? Where did he go? He didn’t even greet anyone after the service.” And truly it's because even though I may not seem like it on Sunday morning, I’m a huge introvert. Being with large groups of people zaps my energy and I need alone time to regenerate. However, after people began to tell me about it, I realized how important it was to be with people on Sunday and even though my instinct is to run and hide, I work to try and connect as much as I can and that isn’t about any of you, it's about me.


So many things I have learned about over my ministry… leadership—parenting—husband—listening. I have made changes in all those areas. Truthfully… if you can’t think of a couple times in the past year that you have made changes because of other people’s critiques of you… then you are missing an opportunity to grow.

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ALWAYS WORK TO GUARD YOUR HEART. (Critical spirit)


18 Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing. Prov 12:18 NLT (Healing not cutting)


Because of our sinful nature, because we are all broken, we can all be overly critical.

You know we say things like, Can you believe way she dresses or My Boss is such an idiot… Then to make ourselves look better we’ll try to justify what we are saying with little catch phrases like, Just being honest. Calling it like I see it. Just saying.

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We are so opinionated, but the truth is our critical spirit is always born out of: Pride—Ignorance—Hurt Whenever we allow a critical spirit to live in us, we are just trying to make ourselves feel better. And also if you are now allowing yourself to be corrected when you need to be, that is about Pride and Fear.

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So how do we overcome critical spirit or being Overly sensitive to criticism:

We need to be Deeply and grounded in Christ. When we are grounded in Christ we will know the truth which is this… Who I am in Chirst matters more than what they think. And truth be told… this goes both ways.. we need to get to the point where we can say I’m not moved by praise from fans or criticism from haters. That way we won’t let compliments go to our heads—Criticism stick in our hearts.

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10 So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God…” 12 Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. 13 So let’s stop condemning each other. Romans 14:10-13


So can we all say we’ve had Enough of being negative: We are not going to be Critical, Hateful, Negative people in this place. Instead we can say... I will be one who: Looks for the good in others— I will be one who Believes the best in everyone!


Can we do this? If you recognize this critical spirit within you maybe you are wondering where do I begin? It begins with surrendering this critical spirit to Christ. Join me as I close us in prayer and if you need to release this spirit pray with me.


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