Burning the tares of criticism

One day as I was driving on a one-way ramp in a parking garage, a car suddenly came toward me and nearly hit me just before it screeched to a halt. Through his open window the driver snarled, "Slow down, blockhead!" And he then speeded away. After a stinging moment, I realized the man was so intent on finding fault with me that he was unaware that he was going the wrong way and was on a dangerous collision course.

For several days I thought about that incident and realized how many times I, like that man, had been so busy criticizing others that I had failed to see my own faults. I saw that criticism puts one on the wrong road, the road of matter—which identifies man materially. The right road is the road of Spirit—which sees man as spiritual.

Criticism is an act of judging, and certainly there are times when wise and helpful corrections are needed and important. But the tendency to disparage and to tear down others can fester in our consciousness and cause worry, annoyance, contempt, and resentment. These feelings can make us reactive in human relationships. They waste our time, limit our abilities, and may cause illness.

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Children: yours, mine, or God's?
August 18, 1986

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