A Calling Away From Self-Criticism

23 05 2009

monkI was reading some C.S. Lewis the other night and stumbled upon an amazing concept that I had not realized was in the bible. I don’t guess I have ever heard it taught about so I thought it would be good to write about. So what is this great amazing concept? It is simply how to deal with your own self-criticism. All of us deal with a certain amount of self-criticism but some people deal with an unhealthy amount of the stuff. Well, today I am going to tell you how to get rid of it, or at least bring it to a healthy level.

Martin Luther is known as a great leader and the father of the Protestant Reformation. He single handedly took on the Catholic Church and changed history forever. But if you study his life you will learn that he dealt with a great deal psychologically. His guilt before God drove him to become a monk after the Augustinian Order and his devotions as a monk nearly took his life. Living a life of Monasticism and constant confessions seemed to never be enough for Luther.

In 1511 Luther was assigned to the University of Wittenberg in Germany under a wise monk named Johann van Staupitz who understood how to help Luther. Staupitz was determined to release this younger monk from his cycle of despair and made Luther the Professor of Bible Studies at the university. Luther would be assigned to teach the bible to other young monks, thus taking his mind off of himself. If Luther was going to teach the Bible to others then Luther himself realized he must understand what he was teaching. 

Luther was simply doing what was taught in 1 John chapter three by practicing real love. By loving and serving others we are released from self-criticism. Not by just saying you love them but by showing, or proving, your love for them. First John 3:18-20 explains that by showing love through practicing real love we actually shut down self-criticism. 

1 John 3:18-20 (The Message)
My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.

This period of study and teaching in Martin Luther’s life released him from self-criticism and led him to understand that salvation can only be achieved by faith in Jesus Christ. No amount of monkery or dedication would ever be enough to save a person. Luther’s teachings would ultimately undo generations of Catholic teaching and change our world forever.

Another beautiful thing about the teaching in 1 John 3:18-20 is that it works even when you deserve the self-criticism. Wow, what a thought. Self-criticism which we rightfully deserve can even be removed by simply practicing real love toward others.

If you deal with a load of self-criticism and struggle with how to get out from under all of it, simply start loving others around you. Not with words but with deeds. Do something nice for your neighbor. Give a friend of yours some financial help by paying their utility bill this month. Love those around you with all your heart, even your enemies, and the load of self-criticism will suddenly be shut down.

– – – The End – – –

If you would like to use this article on your website, blog, or in another form you may do so as long as you include the text below:

A Calling Away From Self-Criticism
By: Raymond Brady
Article Source: www.BuildYourHouseOnTheRock.org

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