Criticism Leads to Arrogance

  1. Message:  The reading today had a pretty strong parallel in meaning and it convicted my heart! In Numbers 12 Moses’s siblings, Aaron & Miriam started criticizing him because of his Cushite wife. Then they said “Does the Lord speak only through Moses? Does he not also speak through us?” What really stuck out to me was this next line “and the Lord heard it”. This whole interaction started off by some sibling criticism that had nothing to do with anything and and the next thing you know they were questioning the legitimacy of Moses and elevating themselves to something God had not called them, nor equipped them to do. Moses didn’t hear any of it, but God did and God was angry. I think often times we rattle off and say things out of a complaining or critical spirit and because of our familiarity we question what God is using someone else to do because we know things about them that maybe nobody else does. I’m not necessarily talking about sin issues. I’m talking about human issues. Vulnerabilities, insecurities, back stories and flaws. Who knows us more than our immediate family or our close circle, and who do we know in our immediate family or close circle that we might feel comfortable criticizing?  Aaron knew more than anyone that Moses was self-conscious about public speaking because he was used to speak what Moses heard from God. Aaron & Miriam probably felt safe speaking this way together and it caused me to think about how easy it is to feel safe speaking critically in certain company because there is agreement. We forget that even if nobody else ever hears it, God has heard it all. Not only has he heard it, but he knows the attitude it came from and he is literally the only one who can judge that motive. Ouch! In Romans 12 this couldn’t have been tied in more perfectly because Paul is warning us all that we are not to think of ourselves more highly than we should. Instead to think sensibly. From there he begins to describe how we are all one body with many parts and many different functions, and according to the grace given to us we have different gifts.
  2. Command: Humble our hearts before God and speak sensibly.
  3. Promise: We all have an important part to play and a different gift that we have been given.
  4. Warning: Criticism leads to arrogance and arrogance elevates our flesh to desire things we were not equipped or anointed to touch.
  5. Application: As I read this I cringed as I thought about even recent conversations I not only partook in, but I instigated with my sarcastic mouth. Some of it began in witty humor, but most of it is stemming from an ugly attitude and a complaining spirit within my own heart. It’s especially bad to criticize those who lead us because they have been given a task that includes a responsibility for those they are leading. It seems easy to criticize the way someone else is managing that responsibility when we aren’t the ones who carry the weight of it. It’s also true that how we treat those who lead us directly affects how we will lead others. My heart was completely busted reading this so my self-application here is to first pray through the attitude withing my own heart, and then pray for those that lead me in a way that I would want someone to pray for me. This week I need to have a conversation with those I have infected with my words, and I need to tell them openly that I was wrong and will not be initiating or partaking in any more conversations like it.

Leave a Reply