Category Archives: James

Victory Over Strongholds

“Make allowance for each other’s faults” is an essential God-like characteristic for you

Victory Over Strongholds
The Stronghold of a Critical Spirit – Part III

Scripture Reading: James 4:1-12

Key Verse: James 4:11
Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.

Before we leave the subject of the stronghold of a critical spirit, take note of the verse in yesterday’s devotional:

Make allowance for each other’s faults. (Colossians 3:13)

This is an essential God-like characteristic for all of us. To “make allowance” for others is to accept behaviors you might not normally like. To “make allowance” means to think about or plan for something that might happen in the future.

God’s Word tells us to plan for the failures of believers and unbelievers around us. It is not “if they fail” … it is “when they fail”. We all fail; everyone says and does things that hurt or harm others.

Believers should start their morning prayers with: “Father, someone may hurt me today, and I want to make allowance and forgive them right now.” If we do this planning, we can also plan how to react to others’ failures.

For example, you have seen television shows of lawyers preparing someone for the witness stand. The preparation might involve telling the witness to be ready for an attack from the other side. The lawyer tells the witness not to let the badgering cause them to lose control of their tempers. The lawyer is preparing the witness for a good and calm reaction in a difficult situation so that they are effective.

In the same way, God is wanting to prepare all His children for the trials and temptations that come our way, sometimes through the people around us:

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. (1 Peter 4:12 NLT)

Are you making allowances for the people you live with, work with, or go to church with? Remember that they are human, make mistakes, and fail just like you.

Is it a surprise when offenses come your way? Offenses and hurts happen, you can predict that.

How do you manage it when others’ bad behaviors hurt you? Do you respond in a Christ-like manner? Or do you respond like one who does not know Christ?

Finally, when you do respond poorly, do you justify yourself? Or do you repent, asking God to help you prepare for a better response next time?

Remember what Jesus said:

“If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.” (Matthew 5:46-47 NLT)

Decide in advance to make allowances for those that offend you, then you can work at making your reactions more and more Christ-like.

Father, I want to be free of a critical spirit, help me to make allowances for all the blunders and sins of those around me. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.