By Garry Knighton
Church of Christ/North - Shreveport, La.
HOW TO OVERCOME HYPER CRITICISM
Expository: Romans 14:1-15:13
Define criticism - (Webster) - the act of making judgements... a review, etc., expressing such judgment; a finding fault.
Hyper criticism - too critical; too much criticism.
The problem between strong and weak brothers is hyper criticism.
Everyone will be at different levels of growth. This is God's design.
How we handle this is the point.
Example: A student given only to study and application is apt to grow faster than someone who does not have such opportunity.
Problem identified: Romans 14:1-12.
Verse 1 - They were not accepting one another because they considered them to have a "weak faith."
Note: This even involves disputable matters.
Verse 4 - They were making their own "personal" decisions about what God wanted.
THIS IS NOT OURS TO DO!!!
Verses 5-12 - Everyone has different opinions.
Let's try to find out from the context how to overcome this problem.
STOP PASSING JUDGMENTS - V. 13-18.
"Make up your mind" - self discipline.
If you hurt/ distress your brother you do not act out of love - v. 15.
This kind of action is destructive.
Note: The problem stems from the same problem the Pharisees had - "Self righteousness."
God's kingdom involves:
Righteousness - (God's).
V. 18 - This gives the best of both worlds.
DO WHAT LEADS TO PEACE AND MUTUAL EDIFICATION - V. 19-21.
We have two main functions toward one another:
Stay at peace - cannot be at peace with God if there is no peace with the brothers.
Edify - build one another up.
Hyper criticism is destructive.
Note: It destroys God's work - building people.
Verses 20b-21 - You might have to make some changes.
Your "rights" end when they step on the heart of another brother.
WHATEVER YOUR JUDGEMENTS OR BELIEF IS: KEEP IT TO YOURSELF AND TALK IT OVER WITH GOD - V. 22-23.
A man is happier when he doesn't set his own standards.
To do something against the conscience is sin.
BEAR WITH THE FAILINGS OF THE WEAK - Romans 15:1.
"Not to please ourselves" - not only when you like it.
Note the contrast between "bear" and "criticize."
Verse 2 - Help him for his good.
Verse 3 - Follow the example of Jesus.
DEVELOP (FROM GOD) A SPIRIT OF UNITY - V. 5-6.
God gives you encouragement and endures you: you do the same with your brother.
If you are really "following Christ" there must be unity.
Note: Philippians 2:3-4.
ACCEPT ONE ANOTHER - V. 7-13.
Just like Jesus did you - (Romans 5:7-8).
Note Jesus' example.
Have you been critical of those around you?
Do you feel that you have room for improvement in this area of your life?
Are you willing to do anything about it?
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