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Nearly everything and everybody gets berated at some time. This holdover from childhood learning, caused by a critical spirit, heads the list of security robbers.

From earliest childhood, people have heard someone or something being criticized. It started with the weather: "It's going to be another hot one!" or "Looks like rain again...when will it ever stop?" or "I'll be glad when winter is over!"

As a result of hearing all this, they grew up saying the same things. Even the weather forecaster was criticized.

The Lashing Continued
Then, of course, there were the neighbors. They always got a tongue-lashing. They were criticized for the color of paint they put on their house, the kind of car they drove, the way they dressed, how they raised their kids, how they lived their married lives...and on and on!

Whatever the conversation was, you can rest assured that someone was being criticized. Oh, and don't forget the politicians! In a Republican household, the Democrats were criticized. In a Democratic household, the Republicans were criticized. Some probably thought God was a Republican and the devil was a Democrat, or vice versa.

Many people grew up in such a negative, critical home. From the first time they went to school, their eyes viewed the world through critical lenses. They criticized the way other kids dressed, the way the teacher dressed, the kind of lunch that was served in the school cafeteria.

They were experts on how people should talk, walk, dress, and live. After all, their parents, grandparents, brothers, and sisters were right; and anyone who differed was wrong.

Then they started going to church. It was the thing to do because they had heard that all those who didn't attend were terrible.

After church, they had the preacher for dinner—only he wasn't there! His sermon, his wife, his family, the car he drove—all came up for critical scrutiny. It was hard for children to understand. Hadn't they heard their parents tell him at the door how much they had enjoyed his sermon?

By the time dinner was over, they had critiqued not only the preacher, but everyone else at church that morning.

The time came for the children of church-going families to confess their faith in God. If you grew up in such a home, when you were old enough, you received the sacraments, baptism, and church membership. You did it very sincerely. You did love the Lord and believe in Him, and there was an awakening in your heart.

The Effects Of Bad Habits
You began to learn about His righteousness and the security you had in your faith, but why didn't you grow spiritually as you should? Looking back on it now, what hindered your growth? Why was it that your belief in Jesus and the Word, and your participation in the worship, did not cause you to grow spiritually mature? Some will never know.

May I candidly suggest that the maturity and security of Christ did not develop because you had already developed, in hard concrete, some very bad habits that stopped your spiritual growth.

Our insecurity is alarmingly evident because of childhood habits that continually surface to plague us. Thus, we are preventing the security of Christ from becoming a vital part of our lives.

Listen as the Lord speaks to you from Psalm 15:1-3:
Lord, who shall abide in they tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
(Ps. 15:1-3)

You are forever talking against your brother, stabbing your own mother's son in the back.
(Ps. 50:20 NEB)
In Romans 1:30, backbiters are mentioned along with haters of God. James 2:1-9 expresses condemnation to those of us who allow these childhood habits to continue to be a part of our lifestyle.

They will not keep us out of heaven, but they will hinder the security of our Lord from developing maturity in our Christian lifestyle. Notice verse 10: "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all" (James 2:10).

Knox says he "is liable to all its penalties." Just being aware of this negative inheritance of criticism that had become an uncorrected habit has allowed more of His security to begin to surface in my life as I work to curtail this treacherous hang-up.

Remember Paul's words to the Romans: "Let us not therefore judge one another any more" (Rom. 14:13).

Do not allow this to become a legalistic noose that will choke your developing Christ-like lifestyle. As you stop criticizing, His security will be allowed to flow, and you will enjoy a healthy body and a solid spiritual relationship with Him. He is Lord.

A critical nature is the opposite of a complimentary one. While there will always be something in all of us to criticize, there is also something to compliment. (Some great person once said there is so much bad in the best of us and so much good in the worst of us that is does not behoove any of us to talk about the rest of us.)

Why do we continually put people down and make them feel inferior? If one person brags on another, we have a habit of thinking hard to recall something negative we have heard about that person.

We Must Control The Tongue
Controlling the tongue, even though it might have a legitimate gripe, is a must. Listen with your heart as you read James 1:26: "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain."

Here is a good paraphrase: Anyone who puts forth much effort with his heart trying to please God, while at the same time makes no effort to control his tongue, will waste his effort to please God.

Not only that, but everything he hoped to receive will not happen because he is constantly deceiving, contradicting, voiding out, setting aside, and rendering useless his heart—the inner part of him that believes in God.

The tongue—that little member which is set on fire of hell—must be controlled. It will stop the flow of the security of the believer. It will nullify all maturity before the heart can be enriched by the Word of God. All efforts to grow will be stymied.

The next time you start to criticize someone, stop and think of something good to say.
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. For by the words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
(Matt. 12:36-37)
Source: Healing Your Insecurities by Dr. Roy H. Hicks
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Roy Hicks
Web site:
Roy H. Hicks was a successful minister of the Gospel who gave his life to pastoring and pioneering churches throughout the United States. He served the Lord in various foreign fields, having made missionary journeys to South America, the Orient, Australia, and New Zealand.

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