Beloved friends to “walk the talk.” It’s like saying, “Be the Change,” or the “change begins with me.” But how do you get to become the desired change? Brethren, it starts with CRITICISM but it doesn’t end there. Not until you get dissatisfied with a “status quo” that’s proven not to have merits, then you won’t ever be ready to make the necessary changes.
What then is criticism?
- It is simply the expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes.
- It is also the analysis and judgement of the merits and faults of a literary or artistic work.
Synonyms Of Criticism
evaluation,assessment,examination,appreciation,appraisal,analysis,judgement,comment,commentary, interpretation,explanation, explication, elucidation, annotation, notation; opinions, views,observations, pronouncements, remarks, notes;
From the definition, it is clear that criticism is not bad in itself but the motive with which it is done could either be constructive or destructive. The scriptures rightly admonished us that, “let all things be done for edification” (building up or constructive and not destructive).
That being said, we now will agree that criticism after all is not a bad word or bad thing in itself but can be employed to build up or to destroy. Choose whichside you belong. If you belong to the side of those who want to “walk the talk” and become the desired change” you can’t run away from being a “critic.”
Please, don’t frown at the use of that word. A critic is one who criticises. Am I making it difficult? I guess not. OK! I’ll use the available synonyms. Criticism is an evaluation, an assessment, an examination, an appraisal, a judgment, and so on and forth. God wants us to always examine ourselves, examine our walk and work. We must of necessity evaluate ourselves collectively and individually. Recently, we are being told of the need of “self diagnosis.” This calls for assessment. Assess yourself, your spiritual environment, assess your indulgences, assess everything about you and around you if you must make progress. Whenever that is done, that’s criticism!
You can’t be idle and passive about your spiritual well-being and that of your local assembly and expect a miracle to fall from heaven. Lie! Big lie! Revival, great awakenings, miracles are all results and outcomes of people who never folded their hands, people who were not bench warmers, people who were not passive and complacent or idle but people who were dissatisfied with the STATUS QUO. They criticised it. That is, analysing and judging the MERITS and FAULTS of the system they belonged to at the time.
I believe that they judged themselves also. They spoke about the faults, the wrongs and all such things that do not represent progress and life. They spoke about it at the perils of their own lives. They wanted a change. They prayed,they fasted, they waited upon the Lord and the result was REVIVAL. From the foregoing, you’ll clearly notice that they were causes and effect. I enjoin us to read Ravenhill’s book, “Why Revival Tarries.” You’ll clearly see that when men are not passionate, active, outspoken, obedient, holy, and most importantly ask for the rain, it won’t come.
Lastly, have you read Asuza Street Revival, Welsh Revival? You’ll notice that it began with criticism. Men were discontent with the present status quo and they began to seek God privately. Sometimes they are wholly withdrawn from their fellowships to seek the face of God. Most often than not, they were all MISUNDERSTOOD to be leading a rebellion against the status quo until the revival broke out which view dictated their criticism and protests.
Have you read about Martin Luther, the Wesleyan brothers (Charles and John) Spurgeon, Finney? All these men were REBELS. Hallelujah! The system they were in saw them to be so. In scripture you see Moses versus Pharaoh, Jeremiah, Isaiah, John the Baptist, Jesus Christ versus the Sanhedrin, Peter, Paul, and so on. All these loved not their lives even unto death. They were critics, rebels. Oh there’s something good about rebellion when it is activated by the divine Spirit to achieve divine ends. Do you know that the meaning of Mary, apart from being bitter by extension means, REBELLION? It will take such bitterness and rebellion about and against the present status quo of things that do not serve divine interests and promote life to BIRTH Christ just like Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ. Selah! Pause and think over it!
Like I said, it begins with criticism but it must end in me and you becoming the desired change. Let’s not be armchair critics. Let our criticisms be constructive in building up rather than destroying. But of a truth, there will be a destroying before a building can be effected.
Jesus said, “destroy this temple, and in 3 days time, I will raise it up (I will build it).” John 2:19
May God provoke something good in the inside of you as you meditate on this exhortation.