Crown or Criticize?

Dear One,

Is there anyone in whose presence you feel rather small? Like you don’t measure up?

The other week as I sat in my sacred space room I was telling God all about a meeting I’d have later that day with such a one. Before the sun had risen, I was already feeling inferior and critiqued. Not a recommended way to start the day!

As I sat quiet to lean in and listen to Spirit, I felt prompted to read Psalm 103. The nourishment I needed was found in verses 8-9:

 “Lord, you’re so kind and tenderhearted and so patient with people who fail you! Your love is like a flooding river overflowing its banks with kindness.”
You don’t look at us only to find our faults.” (Passion translation)
“You will not constantly criticize.” (Voice translation)

“You crown us with love and compassion” (v.4)
Instead of criticizing, God crowns.
Instead of fault-finding, He floods – with love, compassion, and kindness.

God doesn’t look at me only to find my faults, imagine that!!

Knowing this very God would be present in the meeting with me, I thanked Him for His gracious help, closed my Bible and began to stand from my chair to move into the day – that is, until Spirit tugged me back with ‘just one more thing, young lady!’ (you gotta love when God calls you young😉).

Spirit informed me that this was not only the way God treated me, but the way I was to treat others (hello!) and also the way I was to treat myself. 

To treat myself.
There it was.
The penny dropped.

It could very well be that I feel inferior around this other person not so much because of the way they view/treat me, but because of the way I view myself when I’m with them.

Now there was something to consider!

How often do I look at myself in a fault-finding mode, especially when I’m already feeling like I don’t measure up? When I stopped to do an honest assessment, the answer was:  more often than I’d like. I’m not a fan of that finding, friend. 

Turns out I can engage in constant criticism with the best of them, finding fault in my appearance, abilities, accomplishments, etc.

Holy Spirit had my number and was calling me up (honestly, I sometimes feel like she has me on speed dial😂). Spirit wanted to know:

  • Could I practice love and kindness toward myself as well as others?
    • Crown over criticism?
    • Flood over fault-finding?
  • Instead of shame, could I wear the love & kindness God crowns me with, right into that meeting?
  • And hey, could I take a couple of extra crowns with me to place on the precious heads of others? 

Good questions.
I promised I’d try. 

To crown or to criticize? that is the question, and those are our Little Life Words of the week. 

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DEEPER DIVE
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Ponder:

  • When you look at yourself, is it to criticize or crown with compassion?
  • When you look at others, is it to find fault, or flood with love & kindness?
  • What will you wear today, a crown or a critical spirit? 
     

Practice:

  • Find a pair of glasses (or have an imaginary pair on hand😉). When you begin to go into a place of constant criticism or fault-finding toward yourself or another, put the glasses on and try looking through a lens of love instead. What do you see?
  • By the way, this works with situations as well as with people …

Play

  • Our song of the week is: Father’s Eyes by Amy Grant (it is the first of 3 on this video.)

Pray:

  • Holy Spirit, help me to see myself & others through a lens of love.
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