(Below are Nicole's thoughts to Chapter 13, A Judgemental, Critical and Suspicious Mind of Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this chapter as well. Feel free to leave a comment, question and/or scripture in the comment section below this post. Let's dig deep and join together to fight this battle.)
Why do you stare from without at the very small particle that is in your brother's eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me get the tiny particle out of your eye, when there is the beam of timber in your own eye? You hypocrite, first get the beam of timber out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the tiny particle out of your brother's eye. - Matthew 7:3-5
The next mind that Joyce Meyer introduces us to is the judgemental, critical and suspicious mind.
Here's what Joyce had to say about this condition of our minds:
-Being judgmental, opinionated and critical are three sure ways to see relationships dissolve. Satan, of course, wants you and me to be lonely and rejected, so he attacks our minds in these areas. (p.133-134)
- God is the only One Who has the right to condemn or sentence, therefore, when we pass judgement on another, we are, in a certain sense, setting ourselves up as God in his life. (p. 134)
- I was critical because I always seemed to see what was wrong instead of what was right. (p. 134)
- We like to tell people what we think, and that is exactly the point-what I think may be right for me, but not necessarily right for you, and vice verse. (p. 135)
- Judgement and criticism are fruit of a deeper problem-pride. (p. 135)
- We must have "holy fear" of pride and be very careful of judging others or of being critical of them. (p. 136)
- The devil stays very busy assigning demons to place judgmental, critical thoughts in people's minds. (p. 137)
- Now, we cannot always prevent ourselves from having opinions, but we do not have to express them. (p. 137)
- A major problem is brewing in your mind when you ponder opinion until it becomes a judgment. (p. 137)
- Remember, your actions won't change until your mind does. (p. 137)
- Many times we are reaping in our lives what we have previously sown into the life of another. (p. 138)
- The devil loves to keep us busy mentally judging the faults of others. That way, we never see or deal with what is wrong with us! (p. 139)
- Allow God to deal with you first, and then you will learn the scriptural way of helping your brother grow in His Christian walk. (p. 139)
- ....the very same things we judge others for, we do ourselves. (p. 141)
- We make excuses for our own behavior but when someone else does the same thing we do, we are often merciless. (p. 141)
- When your mind has been poisoned, or when Satan has gained strongholds in your mind, it has to be renewed according to God's Word. This is done by learning the Word and meditating (pondering, muttering to yourself, thinking on) it. (p. 143)
- Our thoughts are silent words that only we and the Lord hear, but those words affect our inner man, our health, our joy and our attitude. The things we think on often come out of our mouth. And, sad to say, sometimes they make us look foolish. Judgment, criticism and suspicion never bring joy. (p. 145)
I never really thought of myself as one who judges. I know I do have my fair share of problems with being opinionated; however, I didn't think I judged others. Until this past weekend when my husband pointed out to me how much I judge him. At first, I thought he was crazy but then I kept feeling inside of me to listen to him and hear him out. Let me preface this story with a little background on my current life. I have been homeschooling my son, who is now 8, for the past two years. Before this, I was a stay at home mom who basically ran his in home therapy program, working with him and his therapists to give him the best life possible. Even before the therapy and his diagnosis, I was home with both my kids before they started school. Over the past 8 years, my days revolved around my kids. Therefore, it's only natural for me to feel that I know my children best and what is best for them. This is all well and good as long as I'm not critical or judging others. Case in point this past weekend. My husband stayed home to watch the boys while I went out to run some errands by myself. When I returned home, I immediately started grilling my husband with questions. What did you and the boys do? Did Sean have any behaviors? What did you do? Did you go outside? Did he go on the computer for too long? As I'm asking these questions I see my husbands face start to tense up. I thought he was just overwhelmed. Later, he explained to me what was going on with him. And I am so thankful he did or I would not realize that others were feeling this way. He told me that he felt like I judge him or I am critical of him when he watches the boys. He explained that it's not really what I'm asking as it is my facial expressions and how I'm asking. This was a very big moment not only for myself because I realized that I was being critical of him, but for our marriage as well because Satan could have really gotten a stronghold on our relationship at this point. Can you imagine the damage to our marriage that Satan could have done at this moment if my husband would not have brought this up to me? After apologizing and sharing that I didn't realize how critical I was being, I started seeing this week how often I am judging others and their ability to be with my children. It's something I am having to let go of and know that when I feel like I'm being critical I need to go to God immediately, ask for forgiveness and ask Him to show me the good in the situation.
I challenge you all, to take the rest of this week and this upcoming weekend and look at areas in your life where you could be judging, being critical or suspicious. Then go to God and ask Him to help you overcome this so that Satan has no room in our minds and we can move forward with having a mind that's pleasing to God.
Thank you for showing us how judging our minds can be and how displeasing this is to you. We ask that this week you show us situation where we are being judgemental or critical. We ask that you forgive us and help us have a mind that's pleasing to you.