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Equipping the Saints to Counsel - Lesson 4

by Dr. Ray Self



The Critical Spirit

Click the play button to begin video lesson and follow along with the class notes below the video window. When you complete this video, click the "Lesson Assignment" button at the bottom of this page to open the lesson assignment.


The Critical Spirit

The way a person views others is a product of his or her own heart.

  • "He that hath a froward heart findeth no good" (Proverbs 17:20).
  • "a froward heart" is a crooked heart.
  • Criticism is not a gift of the Holy Spirit; it is a product of a corrupt heart.

The religious spirit has forged the church into a critical reactionary society much like the Pharisees.

  • The church is reaping what it has sown with interest.
  • Some religious people try to make believers grow by showing them how weak and faulty they are.

Just because we see a need in someone’s life does not mean we have the right to invade that person’s life.

Our first goal as counselors is to love the people and help them feel safe while owning their problems.

  • This is a much better way to biblically minister to anyone.
  • If a person does not feel safe and secure he will cover up.
  • We can aid the problem of denial, by our own condemnation, even if it is unintentional.

The person who will influence you the most is the person who believes in you.

  • Ask yourself, can you see the Lord in someone who has obvious problems?
  • Are you accurately representing the Lord?
  • Some people will only see God through your image.

Colossians 4:6 – Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone

  • Salt is a preserver – our speech should be able to preserve, not destroy.
  • Our conversation if "seasoned" will contain a mature and wise message.
  • Once we have negatively touched a person’s self-worth, then meaningful conversation is over.
  • The experience of God’s love begins many times with what people encounter in us.
  • We should try to bring everyone that we counsel into a loving experience with God.

We are not about proving someone wrong and ourselves right. We are to persuade and demonstrate the love of God so people will feel safe enough to trust Him.

  • They do not have to open up to us, but they must open up to God.
  • It was and is always safe to be around Jesus. It is okay to ask questions, discuss issues, and to be ourselves.

Fault finding and having a critical eye are like pulling out the tares (weeds) and in the meantime the field (heart) is destroyed (see Matthew 13:24-30).

  • Ripping faults out of an individual leaves unrepaired scars.
  • It is the Holy Spirit working from within that heals the brokenhearted and the sinner, not criticism.

There has never been a problem that God does not have a solution for. Matthew 19:26 - And looking at them Jesus said to them, "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

How do you find the answer to all problems? “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10-11).

Our own behavioral standards are not a standard to judge others by.

Regardless of the content, our message must be communicated in a meaningful way and not given if not wanted.


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