I entertain an enemy every day.

And you do, too, without even noticing it.

He demands control of our work, our parenting, our food, our love; he requires an account of how we spend our hours. His thoughts shape our calendars, his laugh rings loudest, his words echo longest.

Who is this uninvited companion?

The critic.

Our world is so soaked in these critics you hardly even notice — ceaseless white noise of tips and tricks, elevator music of condemnation cloaked in advice. Self-proclaimed experts and advertisements write story of our days, flooding our lives with research and recommendation and comparison till we’re choking on should and ought.

And yet we keep inviting them to speak — through the morning shows, the mom blogs, the mirror. Even our own minds.

But for the one who trusts Jesus, Colossians 2:18 talks back: Let no one disqualify you.

It is Christ who has made us whole.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved son (Col. 1:13).He canceled the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross (Col 2:14). He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him (Col. 2:15).

He created us for His glory, not our own.

Let no one disqualify you.

The word disqualify here contains the Greek word for umpire. Let no one throw a flag, declare a penalty, put you on the sidelines with some spiritual-sounding project because of the world’s made-up rules.

Be more perfect by doing this! Feel more acceptable by doing that!

For every critic wraps himself in the subtle promise of a savior: with the right response, I can make you whole. Even our own internal negative voices betray our belief that we can save our own lives — for why bother yelling at ourselves if we don’t really believe that, deep down, we can do something meaningful about it? Why bother crucifying ourselves if we believe that job’s already been done?

There is a place for the godly critic, and here’s how to find their voice: they will point to Jesus as your savior, not your behavior.

For no one can disqualify you when He has delivered you.

No one can call you out if you’re already safe at home.