Spirit-Led Woman

Want to receive SpiritLed Woman by email? Sign up here
Joyce Meyer
Joyce Meyer

The SpiritLed Woman podcast is empowering women weekly to follow their purpose in Christ and boldly walk in faith. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.

Judgment and criticism were rampant in my family, so I "grew up with them," so to speak. I wanted to do things God's way, but I couldn't. It took many years of misery before I learned about the strongholds in my mind that had to be dealt with before my behavior could change.

Matthew 7:1-5 are some of the classic Scriptures on the subject of judgment and criticism. When you are having trouble with your mind in this area, use these Scriptures and others as weapons against the devil who is attempting to build a stronghold in your mind. He may be operating out of a stronghold that has already been there for many years.

Sowing and Reaping

The Scriptures plainly tell us that we will reap what we sow (Matt. 7:1-2; Gal. 6:7). This also applies to the mental realm.

We can sow and reap an attitude as well as a crop or an investment. Many times we are reaping in our lives what we have previously sown into the life of another.

The devil loves to keep us busy, mentally judging the faults of others. That way, we never see or deal with what is wrong with us!

We cannot change others; only God can. We cannot change ourselves either, but we can cooperate with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to do the work.

When we have our thoughts and conversation on what is wrong with everyone else, we are usually being deceived about our own conduct. Therefore, Jesus commanded that we not concern ourselves with what is wrong with others when we have so much wrong with ourselves (Matt. 7:3-5). Allow God to deal with you first, and then you will learn the scriptural way of helping your brother grow in his Christian walk.

Besides reaping judgment ourselves when we criticize others, the Scriptures tell us that we ourselves do the same things for which we criticize others (Rom. 2:1). The Lord gave me a good example once to help me understand this principle.

I was pondering why we would do something ourselves and think it was perfectly all right but judge someone else who does it. The Lord said, "Joyce, you look at yourself through rose-colored glasses, but you look at everyone else through a magnifying glass."

We make excuses for our own behavior, but when someone else does the same thing we do, we are often merciless. Doing unto others as we want them to do to us (Matt. 7:12) is a good life principle that will prevent a lot of judgment and criticism, if followed.

A judgmental mind is an offshoot of a negative mind—thinking about what is wrong with an individual instead of what is right. Being positive and not negative will benefit others, but you will benefit more than anyone.

Be Suspicious of Suspicion

First Corinthians 13:7 reads, "Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person" (AMP).

I can honestly say that obedience to this Scripture has always been a challenge for me. I was brought up to be suspicious and to distrust everyone. In addition, I had several very disappointing experiences with people, not only before I became an active Christian but afterward as well. Meditating on the components of love and realizing that love always believes the best has helped me greatly to develop a new mind-set.

When your mind has been poisoned or when Satan has gained strongholds in your mind, it has to be renewed according to God's Word. You renew it by learning the Word and meditating on it—pondering, muttering to yourself and thinking on it.

We have the wonderful Holy Spirit in us to remind us when our thoughts are going in the wrong direction. God does this for me when I am having suspicious thoughts instead of loving thoughts.

The natural man thinks, "If I trust people, I'll be taken advantage of." Perhaps, but the benefits will far outweigh any negative experiences.

Trust and faith bring joy to life and help relationships grow to their maximum potential. Suspicion cripples a relationship and usually destroys it.

God condemns judgment, criticism and suspicion, and so should we. Love what God loves, and hate what He hates. Allow what He allows, and disallow what He disallows.

A balanced attitude is always the best policy. That doesn't mean we are not to use wisdom and discernment in our dealings with others. We don't have to throw open our lives to everyone we meet, giving every person we encounter a chance to crush us. On the other hand, we don't have to look at everyone with a negative, suspicious eye, always expecting to be taken advantage of by others.

One time after I had been involved in a disappointing church situation, God brought John 2:23-25 to my attention. It speaks of Jesus' relationship with His disciples.

Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.

Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Hillary Clinton

    What if Hillary Clinton Wins the White House?

    Polls have Mrs. Clinton leading by 11 points. The church must be prepared.

  • Holy Spirit prophetic

    7 Ways to Cultivate Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit

    Too many of God's people are led by fear, doubt, man-pleasing, presumption, assumption, idols ...

  • What if You Could Save $500 This Week?

    What if You Could Save $500 This Week?

    Start saving for emergencies today with the $500 Savings Challenge by brightpeak financial. It's chock-full of inspiration, great savings tips and the motivation to make a dent in your savings—for real! Go to 500savingschallenge.com to sign up!

  • Guarding the gates of your heart will keep the demonic and evil out of your life.

    Keep the Demonic Out of Your Life With This Oft-Overlooked Spiritual Warfare Strategy

    The enemy knows his limitations. Limit him.

  • Highway exit signs

    Prophetic Word: Watch for the Exit Signs to Light Up This Season

    Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty in the harvest fields. The "barnyard anointing" ...

  • There Are Times in History...

    There Are Times in History...

    While who becomes president is significant, the truth is, the change America desperately needs does not begin in Washington, D.C.

  • Finger pointing

    The Accuser vs. Donald Trump—and Us All

    This isn't a political persuasion piece, but a current-event case study in the strategies of ...

  • Passivity can be a real relationship killer.

    One Toxic Temptation Many Men Face—And How to Overcome It

    And no, it's not pornography or adultery.

  • Daily scripture reading, meditation and prayer can seem elusive with your busy schedule.

    10 Small Steps to Deeper Intimacy With Holy Spirit in Your Quiet Times

    If deep quiet times seem just out of your reach with your busy schedule, try one of these ...

  • Jezebel puppets

    10 Ways to Spot Jezebel's Spiritually Slick Undercover Con Artists

    It's time to stop tolerating Jezebel in all its many manifestations.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit