"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior."1
"A man was criticized for failing to provide for his family. Times were hard. He couldn't find a job so he decided to go into the fish business.
"After his first catch, he set up shop underneath a sign he made: 'Fresh Fish for Sale Today!' The first passerby offered a criticism: 'Why would you use the word today? Everyone knows you don't want to sell them yesterday or tomorrow. That leaves only today to sell them.'
"So he sawed off that last word and mounted the new version: 'Fresh Fish for Sale.' The next passerby asked, 'Why use the word Fresh? Do you mean to imply that at other times the fish are not fresh?' Again he changed his sign. Now it said, 'Fish for Sale.'
"The next critic said, 'Why not leave off the words for Sale? Any numbskull would know that's why you have a fish market?' Finally, he wound up with only the word 'Fish.' Even then, he still had a critic. The next passerby said, 'Why do you need to put up a sign at all? Anyone who comes within half a mile of this place knows from the smell what you are selling!'
"Folks who are determined to leave no stone unturned will find something to criticize about any endeavor we undertake."2
Criticism: A killer of worthy endeavors and a killer of relationships!
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please deliver me from the sin of a negative critical attitude. Help me to become more and more like Jesus in every way. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Ephesians 4:31 (NLT).
2. Jack Wilhelm. Source: KneEmail by Mike Benson, www.forthright.net/kneemail/.