Daily Riches: The Impotence of Criticism (Tullian Tchividjian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Mother Teresa)

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” Mother Teresa

“Most parents and spouses, siblings and friends—even preachers—fall prey to the illusion that real change happens when we lay down the law, exercise control, demand good performance, or offer ‘constructive’ criticism. We wonder why our husbands grow increasingly withdrawn over the years, why our children don’t call as much as we would like them to, why our colleagues don’t confide in us, why our congregants become relationally and emotionally detached from us. In more cases than not, it happens because we are feeding their deep fear of judgment—by playing the judge. Our lips may be moving, but the voice they hear is that of the law. The law may have the power to instruct and expose, but it does not have the power to inspire or create. That job is reserved for grace–grace alone. In Romans 7, the Apostle Paul makes it clear that the law illuminates sin but is powerless to eliminate sin. That’s not part of its job description. It points to righteousness but can’t produce it. It shows us what godliness is, but it cannot make us godly. The law can inform us of our sin but it cannot transform the sinner. Only the gospel can do that. As Martin Luther said, ‘Sin is not canceled by lawful living, for no person is able to live up to the Law. Nothing can take away sin except the grace of God.’ The law may expose bad behavior, but only grace can woo the heart.” Tullian Tchividjian

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus
that we are saved, just as they are.”
Acts 15:11

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Have you been “playing the judge?” What does your answer say about you?
  • Grace works by “wooing the heart.” Does that describe how you influence others?
  • Can you trust God to bring about needed change in the lives of others–and just focus on loving them?

Abba, make me a conduit for your inexhaustible love and grace.

For More: One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World by Tullian Tchividjian

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and God seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! Please leave a comment or question. – Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

 

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