Bluewater Bay Community Church

Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen

The Critical Brother

by Erik Momsen

This message comes from a vision of the hearts of South Africans.  In an instant I saw settlers, filled with the Word and Spirit of God but now turned disapproving of those they were sent to witness to.

My mind immediately turned to the other brother.  The brother of the prodigal.  The "critical bother". Jesus was trying to teach the religious a lesson on the Goodness of the Father, repentance and mercy from other men (Luke 15:11-32).

  • "The older brother was in the field" - the hard working kind.

  • "Became angry and refused to go in".

  • Everyone else is celebrating except the older brother. What was in his heart?

    • His sense of justice is offended - "He did wrong, he should pay."

    • Emotional blackmail - I'LL have no part of this.

    • Only thinking of himself not the great return of his brother.

    • He distrusts the Father's heart - "Why does he love him - perhaps not me?"

    • "Why does the younger brother leave in the first place?" Was there perhaps no place for him in the older brothers heart? Could he no longer live with the criticism?

Criticism and judgment are spiritual poison and Jesus warns us.

Dr. David H. Fink, a psychiatrist, wrote an article for Coronet Magazine, entitled, 'Release from Nervous Tension':

"From over 10,000 case studies, he discovered that there was a common trait with all his patients who suffered from severe tension. They were habitual fault-finders, constant critics of people and things around them. Those who were free from tension, were the least critical. His conclusions were that the habit of fault-finding is a prelude or mark of the nervous, or the mentally unbalanced. Those who wish to retain good emotional and mental health, should learn to free themselves from a negative and critical attitude".

Remember this, the Bible doesn’t promise peace to those who dwell on the faults of others! It says that the Lord will keep them in perfect peace, whose minds are stayed on Him! (Isaiah 26:3).

Nine Differences Between A CRITICAL Spirit and A CARING Spirit  by June Hunt

Critical Spirit

Caring Spirit


Condemns person & action

Condemns action not person

Prov. 12:18

Focuses on others faults

Focuses on self-examination

Luke 6:41

Ridicules others

Refrains from ridiculing others

Prov 11:12

Makes judgments based on appearances

Makes judgments based on the right facts

John 7:24

Assumes the worst without first hearing from the accused

Assumes the best while waiting to hear from the accused     

John 7:51

Tears others down without seeing the unmet needs

Builds others up according to their the needs

Eph 4:29

Confronts others publicly

Confronts others privately

Matt 18:15

Responds harshly when accused by others

Responds appreciatively without quarreling when others give advice

Prov 13:10

Lacks mercy toward others

Responds with mercy toward others  

James 2:12-13

When we judge, we invite judgment upon ourselves. The Bible says that "judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy" (James 2:13).

"Therefore, rid yourselves of every kind of evil and deception, hypocrisy, jealousy, and every kind of slander."

Date Added: 2009-05-20

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