How I Used Truth - Lesson 2 - Annotation 2
What is the meaning of the word criticize as used in this lesson? How is "condemnation" related to it?
2. The rightful meaning of the word criticize is "to make a detailed examination or analysis of something and give a reasoned opinion or judgment according to some standard, showing forth the merit or lack of merit of that which is examined." As the word criticize is used in this lesson it carries with it the thought of unfavorable judgment, condemnation. Criticism used in this sense is faultfinding, pronouncing as wrong the acts of another.
Sometimes "a little learning is a dangerous thing" (Alexander Pope). It can lead those who are new in the study of Truth to cast aspersions on other ways of studying spiritual principles. One shows himself lacking in understanding when he makes remarks that are adversely critical of traditional churches and their members.
Condemnation indicates a closed mind rather than a detailed examination of something. Condemnation comes from a mind that is only interested in censuring the negative aspects of people or situations and meting out punishment. We should hold to the spiritual standard that sees every man as a spiritual being, functioning through an evolving soul. Instead, the one who condemns sets up his own standard which is usually based on limited appearances.
In this lesson the two words criticism and condemnation are used synonymously. The chapter seeks to show us why adverse criticism or condemnation should have no part in our experiences if we would truly live the Christ life. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:1).
Preceding Entry: Why is the "spoken word" regarded as having more power than the "unspoken word"?
Following Entry: What does it mean "to live more righteous lives" (text, page 36)? What is the "righteous judgment" to which Jesus refers (John 7:24)?