A church bulletin had a clever poem about criticism that began:

A little seed lay in the ground

And soon began to sprout;

“Now, which of all the flowers around,

Shall I,” it mused, “come out?”

The seed could then be heard saying, “I don’t care to be a rose. It has thorns. I have no desire to be a lily. It’s too colorless. And I certainly wouldn’t want to be a violet. It’s too small, and it grows too close to the ground.”

The poem concludes with this verse about that faultfinding seed:

And so it criticized each flower,

That supercilious seed,

Until it woke one summer hour

And found itself a weed!

The apostle Paul indicated in Romans 12:3 that we are not to think of ourselves too highly. Rather, we are “to think soberly.” To the church in Philippi he wrote, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Phil. 2:3). When we fail to follow these instructions and begin finding fault with others, we are actually passing judgment on ourselves (Mt. 7:1-2; Rom. 2:1-3).

A good cure for a critical spirit is an honest look at ourselves—not at others.