Date: May 1, 2016
The Point: A critical spirit damages lives.
- Get Into the Study
- Study the Bible
- Additional Questions
- Member Extra
- Tips for Leading Bible Study Groups
Get Into the Study
Use the following story as an alternate introduction and Question #1.
On Sunday Night, April 10, 2016 a dissatisfied customer opened fire on a local taco truck in Stockton, California. The police said the customer, displeased with his food, armed himself with a shotgun and fired at the employees inside the truck. Police are looking for the shooter. No one was hurt in the shooting and no arrests have been made.¹
Whether it is something as small as a taco or something more major, our dissatisfaction is growing. We want to take control of our unhappiness, but it often controls us. Many times our focus on the things that dissatisfy will cause us to develop a critical spirit.
In today’s lesson, we see a critical spirit develop into a conflict between Moses and his siblings, Miriam and Aaron. In our dissatisfaction we often say and do things we do not mean.
Optional Question #1
We all experience dissatisfaction. How do we know when dissatisfaction is developing into something more serious that threatens our relationships? What indicators can we can watch for?
Information for this post taken from: www.kcra.com/news/local-news/news-stockton/dissatisfied-customer-opens-fire
Tanya McAvoy wrote this Leader Extra. Tanya serves as the Minister of Evangelism and Education at Neptune Baptist Church in Neptune Beach, Florida.
Study the Bible
In this passage from Numbers, Miriam gets results when she criticizes Moses — just not the type of results she wanted. Her goal was to elevate herself while tearing Moses down, yet the result was her own humiliation and isolation, caused directly by God himself.
Criticism is a poison. One study from the American Psychological Association has recently shown that in some cases, criticizing a child with ADHD may actually increase the length of time before the child being to “outgrow” the major ADHD symptoms. It is suggested that harsh criticism from parents may elevate or aggravate the symptoms the child is criticized for.
Where the world tears down, we are told to build up. Where the world mocks, it is our calling to love. With the grace we were extended brings a great responsibility.
Ashley Emmert wrote this Leader Extra. She is a freelance writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her sweet Southern husband and their small scrappy dogs. Find her at ashleygraceemmert.com or on Twitter @ashgemmert.
- What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word critic?
- Why is it so easy to fall into the trap of making comparisons?
- What are some common aspects of life where people feel free to find fault in others?
- In what sectors of our culture to you see an affinity for criticism?
- What do you tend to feel free to criticize in others?
- How did humility help Moses respond to Miriam in a healthy way?
- How is celebration the cure for criticism?
- While our critics won’t get leprosy, what do we learn about God’s response to critics of His anointed leaders?
- How is Miriam’s leprosy an indicator of what jealousy does in our hearts?
- What was the ultimate result of God’s discipline of Miriam?
- How do you respond to God’s discipline in your life?
- How can we learn from God’s discipline?
- In our culture, cynicism is often applauded. Why does God desire to remove a critical spirit from us?
- What can you learn from Moses response to criticism and to critics that you can apply when you face criticism?
Share the following with your group members as either a devotional before the group study or as a follow-up devotional: