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Who Made You the Judge?

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
October 14, 2021 8:00 am

Who Made You the Judge?

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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October 14, 2021 8:00 am

The evil of slandering and judging others; the difference between being judgmental and speaking truth in love; based on James 4:11-12.

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Slander is one of the ways that speaking evil of someone can manifest itself, but I want to make sure you understand that you can speak evil not only by lying on them, you can speak evil by telling the truth.

Just because what you said about somebody is true, doesn't mean you didn't sin when you talked about it. The truth may be our best defense, but when it comes to gossip, the truth is no defense at all. Hello and welcome to this Thursday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California.

We're always glad to have you with us. We've all said things we regret, things we wish we could take back, but it may surprise you to learn that gossip is still gossip, even if what we're saying is true. Whether it's fact or fiction, true story or false rumor, the spread of information about the behavior and personal lives of other people is not only harmful, it's sinful. On today's broadcast, another practical message from the book of James about the power of our words, including a reminder of how we can put them to the best possible use. Stay with us now or stop by pastorpaul.net anytime to hear today's message or any recent Destined for Victory message on demand. That's pastorpaul.net.

You can also subscribe to the podcast at Google Podcasts or wherever you get yours. Let's join Pastor Paul now as he shares today's message, Who Made You the Judge? Go with me to James 4. Today we're looking at verses 11 and 12. Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one lawgiver and judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you, who are you to judge your brother?

My title is Who Made You Judge? In the first 10 verses of this chapter, James writes about the need to face what I referred to in the previous message as our three worst enemies. All of us who are walking with the Lord have the same three worst enemies. Your worst enemy is not that person you're thinking about right now. Your worst enemies are the world, the flesh, and the devil.

And we talked about that in the previous message because we have to learn how to be overcomers. We have to learn how to walk in victory over the flesh. You walk in victory over the flesh by putting its deeds to death. You walk in victory over the world by making sure you are in the world but not of the world's systems. And you walk in victory over the devil as you walk in spiritual authority, put on the whole armor of God, and you make sure the devil knows that he is not. When we were kids, we talked about somebody not being the boss of us.

You all remember that? A sibling of somebody trying to, you're not the boss of me. And you walk in victory over the devil by reminding him as often as he needs to be reminded, you're not the boss of me. I belong to the Lord and I walk in his way and in his authority. And so we learned about that in the previous message. Now, James takes a turn as he continues writing, and he wants to make sure we understand that not only do we have the spiritual obligations in walking in victory over the flesh, the world, and the devil, but he wants to make sure we have obligations to treat each other right as well.

I love this book, as I've said so many times, because it's very practical. James isn't going to talk only about spiritual matters and spiritual terms. He often gets back to the issue of how to live a practical Christian life. And so he never ventures too far from making sure we understand what being a follower of Christ looks like in very practical terms.

And so he stays right in the same vein. And after having discussed those three worst enemies that all of us has, he says, Now, brothers, do not slander one another. That's the translation here in the New International Version Bible that I am reading from. Do not slander one another. But I want to let you know the original language doesn't really yield the best translation as slander.

When you look at this passage from its Greek origins, the New Testament writers wrote in Greek, the better translation is to speak evil of one another, to speak evil of one another. So the problem with the translation slander is not that it's inaccurate. It doesn't go far enough because I want you to know that you can speak evil of someone not only by slandering them, but in some other ways as well.

Let's take a moment and make sure you understand what I mean there. To slander means to lie on someone in order to do damage to their reputation or their influence. When you slander a person, you are lying on them. So what makes it slanderous is that it's not true. So you can't call somebody slandering you if what they say it is the truth. It's something else, but it's not slander. Slander is when you lie, you say something that is not true, but you assign it to that person with the hope that others will believe it. And you're hoping to do damage to their reputation or their influence over other people. So what James said here to speak evil of includes slander, definitely includes that. Don't tell lies on people.

Don't mislead other people about someone because you don't like them and you want others to not like them. That is sin. I said that is sin. Why Christians think it's okay to sin with their mouths as long as they don't get in bed with the wrong person, I'll never know. It is sin just like adultery, fornication, or any other sin that we all know is not God's will. So slander is one of the ways that speaking evil of someone can manifest itself, but I want to make sure you understand that you can speak evil not only by lying on them, you can speak evil by telling the truth.

Let's unpack this now. Just because what you said about somebody is true doesn't mean you didn't sin when you talked about them. I'm going to explain it until everybody gets it. You can speak the truth for the wrong reasons. What I said about them is true, but what's the motive in my heart for talking about them in the first place?

So if I tell you the truth about somebody, listen, let me tell you what I learned. Sometimes they say, are you sitting down? That's on the phone sin because they can't see you. Are you sitting down?

You got to sit down for this. And then you proceed to tell something that is true. That doesn't mean you're not in sin because what you said is true. The question is, what is your motive for saying what you're saying? That is included in speaking evil. Evil doesn't just mean it's a lie. Evil can mean the sin lies in why you're talking about it in the first place. So when James says don't speak evil of one another, he means slander. He means truth telling for the wrong reason. He means gossip. You don't know that it's true, but you think it's true or you hope it's true.

So you speak like it's true. There are any number of ways you can sin with your mouth. And James uses a term here that includes all of them because the evil lies not just in what you say.

The evil can lie and why you're talking in the first place. And James wrote when there was no Internet. And so I thought it important to say you can sin with your fingers on your computer. It's called texting.

It's called blogging. Come on. You can sin in a number of ways with your fingers. It goes under the same category of speaking evil. I submit that Christians sin much more with their fingers and their mouths than they do with any other body parts. See, we always focus on the top 10 David Letterman's top 10 of sin. That's what Christians always think about. Stole something you slept with somebody had no business being with your life. You do.

Those are the top 10. But those aren't the only ways you can speak evil of someone. And so James is saying here, as you deal with the world, the flesh and the devil, don't forget that you also have the responsibility under God not to speak evil of other people. Whether it's true or not, if you have no business talking about it, no good motive, no God glorifying motive for talking about it.

You need to be in a place where if somebody is in sin or doing wrong or whatever, your heart's desire is to pray that God will bring them into the right place. Your job is not to talk. Your job is to pray.

Stay with us. The second half of Pastor Paul Shepherd's message is coming right up. But we want to thank all of you who support Destined for Victory with your prayers and financial support, gifts that help Pastor Paul share the joy of the Gospel with a growing audience. Destined for Victory is supported entirely by friends like you, so please prayerfully consider making a generous gift to Destined for Victory today. Give online safely and securely from our website, pastorpaul.net, or give us a call at 855-339-5500.

Again, that number is 855-339-5500. Well, you may already know better than to gossip about other people, but how should you handle it if other people bring gossip to you? Some great practical advice comes your way next in the rest of today's message, Who Made You the Judge?

Once again, here's Pastor Paul. I told you many times before, but let me tell you now, if somebody calls you with gossip or other forms of sin or they're on the computer and they send it to you by way of a blog or an email or a text, same response ought to come from you. If you see that it is something you don't need to know, if you see it's something they don't need to be talking about, then you need to put him or her in their place so that they'll know that you are not a garbage receptor.

Because they're treating you like a garbage can when they bring junk to you, whether you take trash, you take it to a receptor, and if somebody calls you or blogs you or emails you or texts you with foolishness or pulls you aside at church and what they say is from a wrong motive or it's a lie or their goal is to make somebody else look bad or to expose someone's sin or whatever the case might be, make sure they know that they are to never again bring that to you. The best way to do it is to say, well, first of all, I don't know that to be true. Do you know that to be true?

Yeah, uh-uh, I wouldn't tell you unless I had it checked out. Even if that's the case, that's the person who is not slandering because they think what they're saying is the truth, you say, well, either way, that's a horrible thing and we need to pray for them. So I tell you what, let's pray for them right now since you're bringing it up right now. Now, since you have more information, you pray and I'll agree in prayer with you. Make a gossip or an evil speaker pray with you about what they're talking about. And I promise you or your money back that you will never have to worry about them bringing mess to you again because they don't want to pray.

You don't call with some good juicy stuff to pray. You want to talk. You want to gloat in somebody else's failures or you just want to be messy and you need a mess partner.

You need to learn to get offended when somebody treats you like you are a good mess partner. You got to tell them in the words of Beyonce, you must not know about me. I don't roll like that. I got better things to do with my life. God has plans for my life.

I've got things I really need to get done. I don't have time to roll around in the junk in the trash. And so he says do not NIV says do not slander. But the better translation is do not speak evil. Whether it's a lie or the truth, don't speak evil. We all ought to all be at a place in our lives where I'm so busy getting myself together.

I don't really have time to fool with your stuff. We got places we need to go. We got things we need to do to do the will of God.

We got our own issues to address. Even if it's true, I don't have time to talk about somebody. I'm busy saying Lord put the searchlight on me.

And if there be anything that should not be, take it out. Something wrong with you when you enjoy messing around, fooling around in other people's affairs. You ought to have a life. Get a life. That Braxton girl said get your life. So then Tamar, Tamar, get your life.

I don't even know what you mean, but you need to get it. Start fooling around in other people's affairs. I mean how immature is that? And Christians think they're getting away with it because they call it prayer requests. Prayer requests don't give you permission to mess around in people's stuff. Get your life and say if there's something going wrong in my brother or sister, I'll put them on my private prayer request list.

And when I'm in my secret closet, I'll pray for them. Because you ever seen anybody pray that in public? I've seen it. I've been around church folk all my life. I've seen it. And Lord, we want to pray for Sister Applesauce because we just heard. I've heard it done.

I promise you I've heard it done. They will use prayer to talk about you. You ought to be so busy getting your life in God's order.

You really don't have time to fool around in that kind of stuff. But by all means, make sure that people don't use you as a garbage can. They bring mess, send the mess back, return to sender and make them pray and you won't have to worry about it anymore. Except just know they might be talking about you next. I don't know.

But oh well. Because if God be for you, if God be for you, who can be against you? I've learned don't even try to chase your reputation around trying to get it straight when people are lying on you or exaggerating about something or whatever.

Don't spend your life running down your reputation. You leave them in their mouths and their fingers to God. Because God says, if you mess with one of mine, I'm going to get you myself.

Oh, come on, somebody. If you read your Bible, you know that your Bible says vengeance is mine. You don't fool with God's kids and get away with it. We are the children of God. I'm saved by his grace. I belong to him. Everything about me, my strengths, my weaknesses, all of it is God's business. And he takes it personally because he's the one who made me and he also made you a promise, which is I'm going to finish the work I started in you. So since God is at work in your life, you don't have to worry about people commenting on where you are in this particular area of your life anyway.

Learn to not try to run that down. God is at work in you. If God needs to discipline his children, he knows how to do it. Anybody beside me ever been disciplined by God? See, God's old fashioned parent now.

That's why I can't go but so far into this newfangled stuff y'all do. God does more than time out. I'm just saying, I'm just saying God does more than time out. I grew up in the more than time out days. In fact, I grew up in the days where the only time you heard time out was at the ball game. That's how old I am when I was coming along. I never heard a parent saying about time out when I was coming along.

It was time in because I'm aware you out. That's what it. Oh, I'm sorry. I just traumatized some folks. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to traumatize you.

I'm so sorry. You know, some of y'all grew up with old fashioned parents or grandparents. And they believed if they let you get away with stuff without teaching you and sometimes they reinforce the teaching with some corporal punishment or some stern rebuke or taking away privileges. I mean, they did stuff that mattered. You sent them in the room with all that junk you bought them in the room. They good. Fine.

I just play my little PlayStation. I'm not being punished. I'm not thinking about what I did. Oh, but the old saints had a way. And then after they got you, they said, now, now hush up that noise. And you'd be like, now how I'll get a beaten. And then you tell me to hush up.

Make up your mind. You want me to cry? I'm sorry, I called it a beat. That's what we did growing up is spanking, spanking. If you refer to it at all, refer to it as spanking.

I read all this stuff. It gets on my nerves, gets on my last nerve. Hitting them teaches them to hit. Not in the 60s.

It might do it now. In the 60s, it taught you to sit down. Come on, somebody. You're leaving me out here by myself. Getting the spanking never, never in life taught me to hit some other kid. I knew I wasn't their parent. Anyway, back, back, rewind. If you need to strike that from the record to hear the rest of the message, go on and strike that. I was preaching like this one time, years and years ago, a little girl with a little brand new baby infant came up to me afterwards.

Tears just flowing. Oh, pastor, I love your preaching. But when you said that about spanking children, I just, oh, I just looked at my child.

I can't, I couldn't imagine any time they would ever do anything. She did. And I said, sweetheart, I know, but you're a brand new parent. Give it a couple of years. All right, I'm through for real. I'm through for real. I'm not going to traumatize you all no more. And, you know, obviously the goal is not to spank.

If the Lord will bless you with some children who will listen to you and you, you can speak the truth and love and all of that. By all means, the goal is to not spank. I spanked my daughter one time in her life. Once her mother got her a few more times, but for me, I only needed to do it one time. She's smart. She got it. Never had to worry about it again.

Her brother, two years younger, heard about that as he's coming along. He was good. He's like, all right, dude, I get it. You don't have to worry about me. You're good.

Come on, give me some debt. Never spanked him. Mama popped both of them, but she, you know. And so don't tell me it doesn't work when done appropriately and under the right circumstances. Don't say that to me. I know better. They both graduated with high honors from college.

And they ain't hit anybody on the way. You know, the Book of James is often called the Proverbs of the New Testament, a practical guide on living the Christian life. In this brief five-chapter letter, James tells us how to handle adversity, how to treat other people, how to use our words to build up instead of tear down, words that produce life instead of legalism, joy instead of judgment, so that you'll be better able to conquer your calling in Christ Jesus. Well, our highest calling as disciples of Christ is to go out into the world and make more disciples. A great way to do that is by partnering with Pastor Paul Shepherd and the Destined for Victory ministry.

In light of some severe challenges these past two years or so, people are coming to faith in Christ all over the world, many of them through the Destined for Victory broadcast. As our way of saying thanks for your partnership of $20 or more a month, we'll send you a few thank you gifts, including one of Pastor Paul's most popular CDs, The Best of Let My People Smile. Just call 855-339-5500 and find out more about how to become a Destined for Victory partner. Or mail your gift letting us know you wish to become a partner.

The address is Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. You can also become our partner from our website, pastorpaul.net. But if you can't become a partner but would like to send a generous gift to the ministry today, we'd love to share with you a gift of our own, Pastor Paul Shepherd's DVD message, Get Your Hopes Up. That's Get Your Hopes Up, a gift this month by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. Please don't ask anybody to love you by not speaking to you about areas you really need to take a look at.

Don't ask anybody to love you by getting up off of you when somebody needs to be on you. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Who Made You the Judge. Until then remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-11 09:55:02 / 2023-08-11 10:04:05 / 9

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