How to Criticize Other Christians without Being Mean

Matt Smethurst | February 17, 2016


Every now and again it’s good to be reminded of the obvious. We need such reminders more often than we’d like to admit.

I know I do.

At various times in my Christian life I’ve been startled by the ease with which I can jump to conclusions, assume the worst, and demonize those with whom I disagree. In these moments the Lord has often reminded me, sometimes painfully, of a simple truth: Matt, don’t let your zeal for principle eclipse your love for people.

Principles matter greatly, to be sure. I have zero interest in waving a flag that minimizes the importance of holding tightly to biblical principles. But I do wish to wave one that says: Whatever our disagreements on secondary matters, let’s make sure we’re viewing and treating our fellow Christians as what they are—family.

Hearts Exposed 

My job as an editor entails interacting with a lot of Christian books. If you’ve spent much time browsing Christian bookstores, you may have noticed the selection can be, well, a mixed bag. Believers in the late-modern West have more resources than ever at our disposal—which is a blessing and a curse. A friend who works in Christian publishing borrowed the words of Charles Dickens…


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