Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
You know how it goes: you find fault with someone or with some group. You know if you were in their shoes you would do things differently (in your opinion, better). Just to make sure that others know you’re better at such and such than so and so, you voice your criticism. There, now don’t you feel better? Maybe, but did that do anyone any good, other than to give you a brief rush of superiority? Was it that important for you to be critical to one person about another?
I find that the most admired people are those who never have a harsh word about others. Why don’t they speak critically of others? Are they naïve, blind, weak? No, they are gracious. They don’t see a need to voice every unkind thought. In fact, their thoughts are probably not unkind and judgmental in the first place, but rather forgiving and charitable. They prefer to cover the sins and faults of others with love.
Not doing so leads to discord. It is a form of idolatry that presumes we share God’s authority and knowledge to judge what is wrong and right. Quite often we confuse a moral value with our personal preference. “You don’t do it my way, so you’re wrong!” And when there is real sin involved we do well to heed the words shared recently by a friend: “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.” Though not a Biblical quote, Jesus would agree. (Matt 7:1-3, John 8:7)
Some sins should be lovingly confronted to prevent harm to the sinner or to others. Sometimes your opinion is better. Helpful criticism and suggestions, offered with the right motive and gentle spirit, are called for. These are to be spoken directly to, not about, the person. Anything else is just complaining to no good end except to serve your own ego.
Let’s learn some charity from the Master. Rather than sit in heaven and grouse about what sinners we are, Jesus came to save us from our ways with his death and resurrection and to model a better way while empowering us to follow it. It’s not critical that we be critical of each other. He will have the final say in the end. Meanwhile, let’s cover each other’s faults with love.