I have a rare eye disease called Retinoschisis. Retinoschisis is the abnormal splitting of the retina’s neurosensory layers, usually in the outer plexiform layer. Most common forms are asymptomatic; some rarer forms result in a loss of vision in the corresponding visual field. The specialist can’t quite determine if I was born with it or just strangely developed it somehow because I have it in both my eyes. We carefully watch it for progression.
I also had another very serious and very common eye condition that can progress at an alarming rate for most of my life. This eye condition cannot be corrected with glasses or surgery. This eye condition they know for sure that people aren’t born with it. However, it is very easy to develop this condition and may even be contagious. It can lay dormant for years and suddenly resurface at any time.
This dreadful condition is having a “Critical Eye”.
The definition of critical is judging severely and finding fault. This dreadful condition can get so rooted into our personality that it is very difficult to remove and get rid of. It can be passed down from our parents and their parents and we can pass it down onto our children. It hardens a heart quicker than anything I know. It clouds our sight and good judgment too. It keeps us suspicious and on guard. We can damage relationships with our friends, family, spouses, and our children. Sometimes people are unaware they have this condition. The most serious of cases are the people that think they are just stating the obvious facts like: You need a haircut. You shouldn’t wear that, it looks too small, or too big. Your toenails look hideous. Your face is breaking out. You need to clean your room. You look like you have put on weight. You never do what I tell you. You don’t respect me. You don’t listen to me. You can’t do that. You, You, You. They may even try to disguise or justify the condition as being an outspoken or painfully truthful person. Someone who tells it like they see it and doesn’t sugar coat it or beat around the bush.
Then you have the cases that use They They They. They think that it is ok to use they instead of you, that they are just observant people stating facts. So they say things like: They look hideous. They got a divorce. They never manage their money. They don’t go to church. They have a problem with alcohol. They eat too much. They need to discipline their children more. They are too overweight. They are too thin. They don’t know how to dress. They talk too much.
It can be subtle they’s and not so subtle they’s. The You’s and They’s seem to come natural,… but really none of the You’s or They’s should come out of our mouths at all.
Nothing justifies words coming from a critical eye finding faults and judging others. Instead we should be speaking loving and edifying words.
I suffered with Critical Eye way too long. I was like one of those picking monkeys with my children and spouse. Nag Nag Nag, Pick Pick Pick, You You You. I one day realized that my critical eye with my children and my husband was hardening my own heart and clouding my sight and mind towards others. I was not loving them the way I knew I should. It is normal and needed to give our children instructions and we should share our true feelings with others and not stuff them, but too often we can cross over into a critical and criticizing role. We do it with those closest to us thinking that they won’t be damaged by it because they know no matter what we say we love them, but it carries over onto them and they will also began to get the dreaded Critical Eye and then they carry it on with others too. It does so much damage no only to those on the receiving end, but the one seeing everything through the critical eye becomes just as damaged.
So what is the cure? How do we get rid of this dreadful condition?
For me, the only cure was Love. God worked on my heart. God’s word convicted me, and The Holy Spirit, helped with a whole lot of keeping my mouth shut! You will need daily practice of being intentional in pointing out the right things too. If you make a practice of speaking life giving words you will fill up on them and not speak the critical words. The critical words will be so hard to get out because they will just taste yucky and bitter in your mouth now. Your eyesight will improve because everyone and everything you see will be through love instead of a critical eye always finding faults.
Try it! Try saying: I appreciate you cleaning your room. You did a great job on that test. You look nice today. You are making healthy choices and it shows. You are helpful. You helped me a lot by picking up that mess. You must be tired, what can I help you with? Your smile brightens my day. You are kind. You are beautiful. You are important to me.
We must change our critical eye into a loving eye. We are all on a journey. The Holy Spirit does not need an assistant. We are not to judge and find faults. We are called to love.
And as my daddy used to say-
We have plenty of porches to sweep off ourselves before we try to go sweeping off someone else’s. ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom
A good person produces good words from a good heart, and an evil person produces evil words from an evil heart. ~Matthew 12:35
Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. ~Matthew 7:5 NLT
Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others]. ~ 1 Peter 4:8 AMP
“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” ~ Luke 6:31 NASB
Speak evil of no one, avoid quarreling, be gentle, and show perfect courtesy toward all people. ~ Titus 3:2 ESV