Prayer Partner

Originally posted - June 14, 2009


Judgmental & Critical vs Challenging & Encouraging

I’ve recently been spending some time in prayer, study, and self-reflection to determine whether I’m judgmental and critical or challenging and encouraging.

Let me preface with this…. I love people!  I don’t always like the things people do or say but I have a general desire and passion to see people succeed in life.  I’m especially passionate in helping others pursue their specific visions and dreams as God directs me.

I often utilize my personal experiences to share with others my opinions on various subjects.  My opinions are not necessarily right or wrong… just personal experiences!  You can’t really argue with me on that one!!!  Sometimes my opinions are received with open ears and sometimes they are shot down like skeet on a shooting range!  I sometimes wonder “why do I waste my time and energy trying to explain something that is going to get ignored anyways”.  But then I realize that I might be the very person that may encourage and challenge somebody to do something that they already desired to do but just needed that extra little boost.  Sometimes it may be in the form of rebuke, or utilizing myself as an example (both good and bad), or praise!

If I’m sharing something I’m successful in, I have to ask myself if I’m sharing my opinion to brag or to be judgmental and critical or to utilize my experiences to challenge and encourage someone else as a resource.  I’ve come to the conclusion that it really comes down to the attitude of the heart.  I can say one line and it could always be classified two ways based on the attitude of my heart… regardless of how the person receiving it perceives it.  I always have to ask myself… “is my purpose for saying this to build-up or to tear-down?”

What comes out of our mouths (and body language) can always be interpreted in various ways but most definitely it’s important to be confident in the purity and integrity of our actions based on the attitude of the heart.  Check yourself!

I personally am not offended when others share their opinions with me… especially if they are different.  I understand that people think differently based on their experiences and training (or lack thereof)!  It’s actually a good idea to try to understand the way that others think… you might learn something and be a better communicator!  Side note:  I actually learn a lot from children… adults complicate things!

Some people’s opinions have more weight in my life as those people earn my respect based on living by example.  Some people’s opinions have to roll off of me like sweat on an NC summer day… especially if they have no fruit in their lives!  I purposely surround myself with specific people that I respect with regular differing opinions than me because I trust them and I can try to see the world through different lenses even though it’s nice to have people around you that share in your opinions too!  Try to get a good mix of accountability or you just might become prideful and ignorant of the world around you.

Anyways… I say all this to challenge and encourage you to be open-minded and before you speak, check the “attitude of the heart”.


I just love your music. The CD has blessed me so much. I let someone borrow it for 3 weeks and just got it back and singing with you all makes me feel closer to God! Do you all sing at a home group or anywhere? I am moving to Raleigh at the end of the month, but always thought it would be fun to do a sing along to praise God
Thank you Mike- As I sat here I saw my self saying wow I do that. I need to check myself more often. You always open my heart when I hear you and Sara sing it just brightens my whole day and now I get to watch as you open my eyes. Thank you for being you! God Bless you both. You two are certainly a Blessing in our lives.

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