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Delighting in my God, I desire to dwell in His pleasure and to help others experience true delight.

"Delight Yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your judgment as the noonday.  
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;..." Ps 37:4-7a

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Being Delivered from the Negatives of Critical

The Five Minute Friday Word for this week is REMEMBER.

Artist: Steve Hanks

One of the things that is a strength for me is also a weakness.  I see things that need fixing.  I am a fixer.  Doesn’t that sound nicer than I am critical, but alas, that is part of who I am.  I tend to see what is out of place, what needs repair, what is still left to be done.  

Until a few years ago, I saw this as only a negative.  I remember hating this about myself and always wanting to change.  Then one day I had a conversation with a friend who suffered from the same ailment.  She pointed out how we need people who are able to see what needs to be fixed.  It is only bad if you don’t see it in yourself and temper it with appreciation.  It, like most traits, just needs to be managed in order to be a blessing rather than a curse.  Well that was much more pleasant.

Since then I have learned more about gifts of the spirit and how being able to contribute constructive criticism is often called for.  My children have mentioned on more than one occasion that they appreciate constructive criticism because it helps them improve and they truly dislike false praise given just to make them feel good.  Further confirmation that this trait is not totally to be despised.

However, I also have realized that my critical nature has been a stumbling block to me, and it is good to keep that in perspective as well.  The Lord has been teaching me about love of late.  It is my word for the year.  I am already seeing how very much I have to learn about love.  It is a humbling journey to see how much criticism has kept me from loving or how the lack of love has cultivated a critical cynicism.  I thank God for continually humbling me, because it is in that humbling that He is showing me where I need to repent and how I can become more like Christ.  

STOP.  5 minutes up.

It never ceases to amaze me how I think I know something, and God clarifies how little I really know.  I am also grateful for that.  It has given me perspective along my life journey.  I have many humble, tearful, joyful rides with the Lord these days.  It is life-changing.  It is life-enhancing.  It’s liberating.  The tears shed, are tears of joy as the Holy Spirit not only shows me the error and sin that have been my stumbling blocks, but concurrently delivers me from them.  What a gracious loving God.  As He sets free, everything else becomes richer.  It’s like the smoker who gets a new appreciation for food once she quits because the taste or rather her ability to experience the taste is intensified.  

Ah the renewing power of the Holy Spirit brings love to life and leaves the fixing to Him.

But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.  Deuteronomy 4:29

Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
Oh and Ahem, if you would take pity and turn off comment verification, it would make leaving some love on your post that much easier for folks!
OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on:::
Also linking up with:

What Joy Is Mine


  1. Your realness in this post is refreshing, Maria!

    And I love this: "It, like most traits, just needs to be managed in order to be a blessing rather than a curse." What a great thing to mull over.

    Love is a great word for the year! It's always so interesting to see what God does with the words, isn't it? And see how they transform our hearts and lives, and the things they stir up.

    Two years ago I chose 'hope' (although that's sort of my 'life' word, I think I'd have to say!) and last year it was 'in everything.' This year I landed on two, but feel like God's sort of said, "Nope, neither of those...here's what you really need..." and then gave me another. Well, again a phrase. 'Hold fast,' which, the way the year has gone, I guess there's a reason that's what He spoke!

  2. Leese, I am so blessed that you stopped by. You encouragement is refreshment and warmth to my soul, especially since I know your time is a extra precious thing for you even more than for the rest of us.

    Thank you for sharing about your word. I had the same issue. I prayed for a while and thought I had it but then the Lord led me to Love. And I know why after just a short time. He is also teaching me about the other words that I thought originally were the words to focus on as He is teaching me about the depth of Love I have yet to learn.

    I hope to follow your blog and will continue to pray for your progress, both physically and spiritually. May God bless you richly. Maria

  3. We need people who...(fill in the blank). Yes, we need all sorts of people, for so many reasons. This is a beautiful post that reminds us never to be too hard on ourselves and always remember we are loved into existence by God. I'm certainly glad I read this tonight. Thanks, Maria:)

  4. Thank you M.J. You have blessed me. Yes we do need all sorts of people for many reasons. Coming to understand our differences and appreciate them brings so much more joy in life, doesn't it! God bless, Maria

  5. This is a good exercise to do. I'm a fixer, too. I am trying to learn to not get involved in things that are not my problem, and to not be critical of how others are handling things. It's a long road.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

    1. Thanks for stopping by Shannon. Yes these are great writing exercises. And it is good to know that others can relate to the struggles of a 'fixer.' It is a long road, but not a bad road. God bless, Maria


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