It’s easy to criticize others, but don’t. Criticism does not originate in love. It originates in dark places, such as in envy, arrogance, and judgment. Criticism carries the sting of words that can hurt one’s soul. In the context the word is used here, criticism can stir anger and self-doubt and inflict a backlash of pain.
Jesus warns us, “Don’t criticize, and then you won’t be criticized. For others will treat you as you treat them.” (Matthew 7:1)
He reminds us that it is not our place to judge others. The authority to judge family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers rests solely in God — because only God knows what is in a person’s heart and only God is a perfect judge.
Jesus continues, “…why worry about the speck in the eye of a brother when you have a board in your own? Should you say, ‘Friend, let me help you get that speck out of your eye,’ when you can’t even see because of the board in your own? Hypocrite! First get rid of the board. Then you can see to help your brother.” (Matthew 7:2-5)
People tend to notice weaknesses in others that they have themselves. Instead of criticizing others for their weaknesses, focus on becoming the best version of yourself you can be. As long as no harm will come to anyone by doing so, allow others to address their own weaknesses in their own way and in their own time.
If you must correct someone, do so out of love and concern for their well-being or the well-being of others. Correct them in a respectful and compassionate manner, taking into account their cultural background if different than your own.
Finally, Jesus’ disciple Paul wrote, “…if a Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help him back onto the right path, remembering that next time it might be one of you who is in the wrong. Share each other’s troubles and problems, and so obey our Lord’s command. If anyone thinks he is too great to stoop to this, he is fooling himself. He is really a nobody.” (Galations 6:1-3)