Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. James 5:9
One of the hardest things to overcome, if you ask me, is a critical spirit. I come from a place where I was taught to be critical. I remember someone in authority over me saying. “Throw an idea in the middle and everyone try to shoot it down. If it lives, it’s a good idea.”
When I moved away from that place, I realized that in every church, bible study, theatre, comedy club, etc. that I went to, I was so critical of everything! I had to make a conscious effort to not be critical and I’m still not perfect but I’m worlds away from where I was. If you are a critical person, I encourage you to change that. Here are 7 places to start in church.
We all have different genres of music we like. And, different worship leaders and churches work better in different styles but it’s all worship. You may not like that David Crowder song the band did this weekend but that could be someone else in the sanctuary’s favorite song. You may prefer the guitar to the banjo but that doesn’t mean bluegrass can be just as worshipful. We all have songs we like and don’t like but that shouldn’t stop us from worshipping God.
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks” John 4:23
“The music was off today.”
“The band is just not anointed.”
“I just don’t like his or her voice.”
“I just couldn’t get into worship.”
Believe it or not, worship has little to do with the band on stage and everything to do with your heart. We are called to worship. We were placed on Earth to make God’s name great. How dare we say that we can’t worship because of x-y-z? We have to ignore those things that “bother” us and worship God for who he is, in spirit and in truth.
Whether it’s dead air between songs, a video starting late, the passing of communion taking too long, etc., we have a tendency to get annoyed and impatient in those moments. People and technology run all the logistics of church and people and technology are not perfect. Instead of getting frustrated, take those moments to pray for the staff and volunteers who are involved. They are probably just as frustrated, if not more so, as you are.
“so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
“I just didn’t get anything out of that message.”
Wow. The Bible, God’s word, was preached and you got nothing out of it? Maybe the speaker wasn’t entertaining or maybe you didn’t like his style of preaching or maybe he preached for a long time. Maybe you weren’t receptive or maybe your heart wasn’t ready or maybe you were sidetracked or distracted. If you didn’t get anything out of God’s word, then you should probably check yourself.
Other church attenders
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2
We’re all guilty of this one. The church is not a cruise ship, it’s not a hotel and it’s not a place of entertainment. It is a hospital, a place where broken people can come and be healed and put back together. Some days you come in as a patient needing care and some days, you come to work. Instead of putting someone down, have a conversation with them and see what you can do to help.
“And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.” Matthew 18:5
Let me start out by saying that sometimes there are things that need to be addressed. But, a big majority of negative comments made to children’s directors stem from the fact that mom or dad can’t turn off the “parent button.” Before you complain, ask yourself, is this a safety issue? Is my child’s welfare at risk? Or is this just a complaint, something the dept. does, i.e. curriculum, which I personally think they should change?
“But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the LORD’s anointed and be guiltless?”” 1 Samuel 26:9
David was CALLED by God & believe it or not, so was Saul. David knew the importance of God’s calling and never laid a hand on Saul even though Saul was trying to kill him!
Each staff member at any church has been given that position through the authority of the church and the authority of God. You may not like someone on staff or how they do things. They may even be defiling the Lord’s house just as Eli’s sons Phinehas and Hophni were but God has always said that he will take care of it. Who are you to put your hand (or your mouth) against the Lord’s anointed?