I'm sure many of you have heard of the "Tater people" people we meet in churches. Some people never do anything to help, but are gifted at finding fault with the way others do their work. They are called "Comment Taters." Some people are always looking to cause problems by asking others to agree with them. It is too hot or too cold, too sour or too sweet. They are called "Agi Taters." Then there are those who love others and are always prepared to stop whatever they are doing and lend a helping hand. They bring real sunshine into the lives of others. They are called "Sweet Taters."

For many Christians, criticism seems so much fun to give and yet so hard to receive. Criticism can drain the life right out of a sincere shepherd, minister, or Christian worker who is trying his or her best to serve God and the people of God. Unfortunately, those who see themselves as superior to others and who exercise the "gift" of criticism seem to be everywhere. I know it isn't really a gift, but some people sure do seem to take pride in it. I guess pride might be the problem.

Oswald Chambers has said, "The average Christian is the most piercingly critical individual known." He also says, "Criticism serves to make you harsh, vindictive, and cruel and leaves you with the soothing and flattering idea

that you are somehow superior to others." (My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition.) Isn't that the way it is? We couch our criticism in so called spirituality to justify it.

It would be better to be thankful and prayerful.
In some churches, people have a tendency to see all that is "wrong," or what "isn't " being done, instead of being thankful for all that is "right" and "is" being done. Their frustration with what isn't being done, can make them critical. It would be better to be thankful and prayerful. The Bible says, "For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment." (James 2:13) Jesus says it this way, "Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." (Luke 6:37) So let's walk in love, mercy, and forgiveness and not be so quick to be critical.

So the next time you find that critical spirit rising up in you, maybe it would be better to be thankful, merciful, and prayerful. I really think that in today's church we need less "Comment Taters" and "Agi Taters" and a whole lot more "Sweet Taters." The choice is yours!