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TAMING THE TONGUE
I Am both Judge and Jury:
The Critical/Judgmental Tongue
Victor M. Eskew
A. Let’s begin by reminding ourselves of our key verse for this study (Prov. 18:21).
Death and life are in the power of the tongue…
B. Many times our tongues inject poison into our lives and the lives of others rather than life-giving medicine that brings healing.
C. It is needful for all of us to learn how to control our tongues (James 3:2)
For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, that same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
D. In previous lessons, we have examined
1. The tongue that uses curse words
2. The tongue that lies
3. The tongue that is too hasty
E. In our lesson today, we want to examine the critical, judgmental tongue. The title of our lesson is: “I Am both Judge and Jury.”
I. DEFINITIION OF A CRITICAL TONGUE
A. “…assuming a superior role of faultfinding with a derogatory view of others” (Critical Spirit, June Hunt, p. 43).
B. The word “criticism” comes from the Greek word “kritikos” which means “able to discover or skilled in judging.”
1. Constructive critics: fair judging
2. Destructive critics: unfair judging
C. Words that describe those who are critical and judgmental: faultfinder, nitpicker, critic, complainer, and judge.
D. Two word pictures that describe the faultfinder.
1. Porcupine personality: sharp quills, dangerous
2. Satan’s sandpaper: constantly rubbing on others with the wrong number sandpaper or the wrong force or both.
II. BIBLE EXAMPLES OF CRITICAL INDIVIDUALS
A. Moses was often criticized by those of Israel.
1. Miriam and Aaron (Num. 12:1-2)
And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath he not spoken by us? And the Lord heard it.
2. Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (Num. 16:1-3)
Now Korah the son of Ishar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan, and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, the sons of Reuben, took men: and they rose up before Moses with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?
B. Job was criticized by his friends.
1. Job 4:7-8
Remember, I pray thee, whoever perished, being innocent: or where were the righteous cut off? Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness reap the same.
2. Job 8:3-4
Doth God pervert judgment? Or doth the Almighy pervert justice? If thy children have sinned against him, and he have cast them away for their transgression.
C. The Lord was criticized by the religious leaders of His day. (Note: The Pharisees found fault with the faultless Son of God).
1. Objections to His relationship with God:
a. Use of the title “Son of God” (John 5:17-18)
b. Use of the title “Messiah” or “Christ” (Mark 14:61-64)
c. Use of the title “Son of David” (Matt. 21:9, 15-16).
d. His authority to forgive sins (Mark 2:7-10)
e. His claim to exist before Abraham (John 8:56-58)
2. Disputes on his relationship with men
a. Friends of sinners (Luke 15:1-2)
b. Did not observe the tradition of the fathers (Mark 7:5)
c. Violated the Sabbath views (Matt. 12:1-8, 10; John 5:16; 9:16).
D. The apostle Paul was criticized by his enemies:
1. His is fickle (II Cor. 1:17)
2. His bodily presence is weak (II Cor. 10:1).
3. He writes terrifying letters (II Cor. 10:10).
4. He is not a good speaker (II cor. 10:10).
5. He does not accept support (II Cor. 11:7-9; 12:13-15).
6. He used others to take money from the Corinthians (II Cor. 12:17).
7. He was beside himself (II Cor. 5:13).
III. WHO DO WE CRITICIZE?
A. Our enemies
B. Those with whom we are angry
C. Those with whom we are jealous
D. Those who threaten us
E. Those who we do not know
F. Those who challenge us, for good or bad
IV. WHY WE BECOME CRITICAL AND JUDGMENTAL
B. Control of others
C. Poor self-image
V. CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM VERSUS DESTRUCTIVE CRITICISM
1. Helpful 1. Harmful
2. Thought out 2. Hastily spoken
3. Based on facts 3. Based on fiction/feelings
4. Address key areas of life 4. Nitpick everything
5. Occasional 5. Constant
6. Does not love 6. Done in anger and spite
7. Private 7. Public before others
8. Remorse for the person 8. Joy over other’s faults
9. Forgets the past 9. Reminds of the past
10. Elevates another person 10. Elevates self over others
VI. PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER
A. Matthew 7:1-5
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but consid-erest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
B. Proverbs 11:12
He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbor: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.
C. Proverbs 14:3
In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.
D. Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
E. Colossians 4;6
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how ye ought to answer every man.
F. Hebrews 10:24
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.
A. Some can be critical of anything.
This reminds me of the story of two farmers that went out duck hunting. One man was a positive person who always saw the good in life and one that was a classic example of a person with a critical spirit. Both men went out duck hunting one day and the positive person had a new hunting dog. The man couldn’t wait to show his critical friend his new dog. This dog was a very special dog and the man just knew that his negative friend would have to say something positive about this dog. Well, they got to the duck pond and, just like clockwork, a flock of ducks flew over. Both men were able to shoot a duck, so they called the hunting dog to retrieve the ducks. Lickety split, the dog raced out on the water and grabbed both ducks running on top of the water both ways. Well the positive farmer said to his critical friend, “What do you think about that?” to which his faultfinding friends answered, “Can’t swim, can he?”
B. Instead of being critical, we need to become encouragers.
1. I Thessalonians 5:11
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
2. Hebrews 3:13
But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.