"Brethren, if any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual … should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness … "
-- Galatians 6:1 (AMP)
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Voicing our opinions has become quite popular in today's society.
Some personalities are more prone to share their opinions with others. Now to set things straight, there are some absolutes. Following God's commands is necessary to show our reverence to him and keep us from self-destructive lifestyles.
I'm speaking about personal choices. We often think what is right for us is right for everyone else.
This type of thinking causes us to become too harsh and critical. Eventually, people tend to shy away from someone who is overly opinionated. Constantly voicing our opinions can cause us to lose credibility with others.
Then when we desire to confront an issue, it's not received with an open mind.
Giving a criticism with a high-minded attitude is not giving a criticism constructively.
When we are high-minded, we tend to be prideful and haughty. Constructive criticism is supposed to be given out of concern to move the other person to improve, not make them feel like they are worthless. There are many passages in Scripture that warn us not to be prideful.
When a criticism is given in sarcasm, or intertwined with belittling name-calling, it is not considered a mature way to give advice. Sarcasm and belittling others is another form of pride, and doesn't motivate in a positive way, or display a positive mannerism.
We should take a positive approach when giving advice. A wise person discerns good and bad; not just one or the other. A balanced attitude is what leads to a fulfilled life.
Advice should be given with the positive characteristics observed about the person, as well the concerns observed.
Just dumping our negative viewpoints on someone else does nothing to spark improvement. It tears down a spirit rather than building constructive grounds to motivate a change.
Not becoming overcritical in our opinions about others leads to fruitful relations and solutions rather than rotten ones.
When we learn to silence some of our unnecessary opinions and learn to give criticism in a mature way, we will not only be a benefit to others, but we will benefit ourselves as well.
• Join Annettee Budzban for her conference " Make Your Dreams Realities!" presented at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, at Panera Bread in Bannockburn (Routes. 22 and 43). Due to limited seating, please register by calling (847) 543-8413 or email Annetteebudzban@aol.com.