Slander And Judging How They Work – It was interesting as I studied this to learn if a person will not repent and attempt to correct his or her slander and judging ways, the Lord will actually give them over to it. He will not stop a slanderer from slandering. He stops convicting them and they become consumed by it. This is actually God’s wrath working (Rom 1:18).

The Book of James – How Life Works
By Pastor Delbert Young

Slander And Judging How They Work

Slander And Judging How They Work

Scriptures: James 4:11, 2 Corinthians 12:20, Romans 1:28, Romans 1:29, Romans 1:30, Romans 1:31, Romans 1:32, Romans 1:32, James 4:12, Matthew 7:1, Matthew 7:2, Matthew 7:3, Matthew 7:4, Matthew 7:5

James warns in 4:11-12 not to slander and judge one another. Why? What does it hurt? Why shouldn’t I say anything about anyone I wanted to say? If I wanted to talk about any of you, then shouldn’t I do it? It doesn’t matter if it is true or not. If I want to talk about you to others and judge you then why not? If I want to damage your character, shouldn’t I do it?

Our hearts tell us something is wrong with this mentality. We may not know the scriptures to back it up, but we know in our hearts we should not slander and judge people. So, how do slander and judging work?

James 4:11 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.

Brothers – James began this section once again with a connection to the people to whom he spoke. He did not come from his position of authority as apostle or leader. Instead, he used a term showing equality.

. . . do not slander one another – The King James Version says, “Speak not evil one of another.”James said don’t talk negatively about one another. Let’s look at the Greek word translated as “slander.” It is the Greek word katalaleo{kat-al-al-eh’-o}(Strong’s #2635). It means: (1) to speak against one, to criminate. James is not only saying do not tell lies about one another. James is speaking about not making any negative and criticizing statement about people. Don’t say anything making the person appear to be a criminal or to have done something wrong.

Sadly, the practice of talking negatively about people was common then, and it is common today in church. In fact, I would guess every person here has at one time or another spoken negatively about someone. So, let’s go ahead and confess. Raise your hand if you have ever said a negative statement about a person. Good. Now the Lord will help us.

Slander and judging others have always been a problem in church life. Paul, speaking to the church at Corinth two thousand yeas ago said,

2 Corinthians 12:20 For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.

Isn’t it sad these type things have always been prevalent in church? The twenty-first century church has done well at retaining this ability. I wish we had maintained the good qualities as well as we have this one.

It was interesting as I studied this to learn if a person will not repent and attempt to correct his or her slanderous ways, the Lord will actually give them over to it. He will not stop a slanderer from slandering. He stops convicting them and they become consumed by it. This is actually God’s wrath working (Rom 1:18). These people know God and know his truth. However, they suppress or reject the truth. Something begins to happen to their thinking. It becomes futile and they become fools (Rom 1:21-22). Let me show us the scriptures in Romans 1:28-30.

Romans 1:28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind [KJV reprobate mind], to do what ought not to be done.

Romans 1:29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,

Romans 1:30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;

Romans 1:31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

Romans 1:32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

We see the horrible truth about not responding to the Lord’s truth. After awhile, the Holy Spirit stops convicting. If we refuse to bridle our mouths, God will release us to ourselves. We develop a reprobate depraved mind. It becomes a mental problem. We begin to think what is wrong is actually right. We lose the ability to reason. We think in depravity.

Sometimes people refuse to stop slandering and judging people. It doesn’t matter what the Lord’s truth is or what people say. They will not stop. It even seems they cannot stop. It’s as though their mind has been given over to this depraved condition. It seems every breath, every thought, every word is slanderous and judgmental. The person may well have a depraved reprobate mind.

Verse thirty-two says the person with a depraved mind knows God’s teachings about doing such things. They even know God’s judgment upon those who do them, but they “continue to do these very things.” Not only does the person continue slandering and judging, but they “approve of those who practice them.” They like people who slander and judge. They run with people like them. The relationships they have are with people who practice the same things.

We can learn a lot about people by simply observing who they run with and talk with. We know this is true with our children. It remains true all our lives. Let’s look at Romans 1:32 once more before moving on.

Romans 1:32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Slander and judging is very serious. James continues in 4:11.

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.– James said when we slander another, it is not only the person we are judging. We are judging God’s law which says to love one another and not slander and judge one another. We think we are superior to the Lord’s teachings. We place ourselves above the law when we slander and judge people. We are no longer submitted to God’s law. We are sitting on his law.

James said when we slander and judge another person, we have said we are superior to the person, smarter than the person, better than the person, and more important than the person. In our heart we say we are like God. We have done what Lucifer did (Is 14:13-15). We say in our heart, “I will ascend. I will judge people.” the truth is we are about to be brought down to hell. We are doing what Eve did in the garden. We are trying to “be like God” knowing, or judging good and evil. Let’s remember how Eve lost everything because of this. We have taken God’s place. That’s how slander and judging work.

James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you – who are you to judge your neighbor?

The most upsetting thing to James about judging others is the blatant disrespect to the teachings of Jesus. Not judging one another is at the very heart of the teachings of Christ.

Matthew 7:1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

Matthew 7:2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Matthew 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

Matthew 7:4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

Matthew 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

I know we are familiar with this passage, but I hear the Spirit emphasizing something. When we judge others, we are pronouncing judgment upon ourselves. Jesus said, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” When we judge people, we are literally deciding the judgment that will come upon us.

Do we believe this? I want us to do something. I want us to be quiet for a minute. I want each of us to think of a situation including slander and judging. I would prefer you not use yourself, but someone else. This way you can get outside the box. Think about a time when someone really slandered and judged someone. Now think about what became of the person who slandered or judged. How did things go with their life?

Years ago I was sitting at a pool side with the man who influenced me to come into the kingdom of God. His name is Billy Shirah. Billy had been a real-estate broker and, in the past, had made a lot of money. He was sharing with me an event of his life. Several of his friends had come to his expensive home and were grilling steaks in his backyard. They were drinking some adult beverages and eating steaks around his pool. Billy remembered saying in a slanderous judgmental way, “I wonder what the poor people are doing tonight?” Billy lost everything not long after this. He was unable to pay his bills and nearly bankrupted. The reason he remembered it so vividly was because he knew he had judged and slandered others. The judgment we place upon others will indeed come back upon us. He was removed from his Eden. He got a taste of hell. That’s how slandering and judging work.

But you – who are you to judge your neighbor?

James asked each of us another rhetorical question, “Who are you to judge your neighbor?” We must each honestly answer the question. If our answer is not, “I am no one to judge and I have no right to judge,” then we have some very tough times awaiting us.

Slander and judging tremendously undermine the health and vision of a church. Nothing can make a strong vibrant church sick and weak like slander and judging within. It divides the house. The damage slander and judging cause to people and to a church body is too serious to ignore. Slander and judging is a sin and must be treated as sin. It’s difficult to address, but it must be addressed. It was no easier for Paul or James to address it than it is for you or I to address it. However, if it is not addressed, we allow one another to bring judgment upon us and we get closer and closer to being a reprobate.

I want to speak quickly about three areas in church life seeming to get the most slander and judgment. Before I begin, allow me to say I am not directing this at anyone. So, if you have recently been guilty of one or all of these, don’t think I am aiming at you. I know these are things we slander and judge because I have been guilty of doing each one. I ask us to be real today and not be hypocrites.

I hear much slander and judgment in how people spend their own money. I will never forget sitting in my office one day when the phone rang. It was someone who was very upset about another person buying something. They knew this person was in financial difficulty and behind on their bills. The person calling felt to bitterly slandered and judged. As a note, the person judging later found themselves in tremendous debt and severely judged.

How should we handle the situation? I wish I knew. I do know this. It is not wise to slander and judge how people spend their money. They know they have a problem. If not dealt with, the Lord will release them as in the depraved mind. We call it a mental condition. We call it “Compulsive Spending Disorder,” but it’s simply God is allowing them to judge themselves. I encourage people to go to a financial budgeting class and get help. Our main priority is not to judge.

I observe judging and slander in the church concerning how others are rearing their own children. It’s the “Why don’t they make their kid behave?” thing.

I remember one little boy who really was a mess. I knew the kid got spanked well because I had observed a few of those occasions personally. I remember another parent coming to me and complaining about the little boy. “Can’t they do something about him? If he were my child, I would . . . ,” they said. Well, guess what? Not long after this, the complaining parent had a baby boy and . . . You got it. Their child was by far, uh “more motivated” than was the child she complained about.

How do we deal with this problem? I have learned we don’t have to tell people their child is misbehaving. They know their child is misbehaving. Usually they already feel they are beating the child to death. People don’t come to church to be told their child is misbehaving. What I have learned over the years is in a few years the child will grow out of what is bothering you right now. But there will be another child coming along. The point is, don’t be judging and talking negatively about the children of others. You will have children or grandchildren yourself one day. Be careful.

I observe a lot of judging concerning church business. We don’t necessarily like the way the leaders spent money or did something. So, we began to slander and judge them. We decided how it should have been done. When we had the opportunity, we talk to someone about it other than the correct leader. The person we talked to probably had never given it much though, but they become stirred about it. Then they talked to someone else and someone else and the next thing we knew was many were stirred up. Has anything changed? No. Everyone is simply stirred up.

How should it be handled? Do I just sit there and keep my mouth shut about something that bothers me? No. Go to the leader responsible for the issue and ask. Relay you have a question and need a little clarity. Usually, all the answers are provided. If there is a better way of doing it, the next time the issue comes up, it can be handled better. But slandering and judging doesn’t accomplish anything. Right?

I remember years ago in the very first church of which I was a member. One day we walked in and there was a new organ. We had an organ, but it was gone. It wasn’t I didn’t like the new organ. My position was I knew there was no money for a new organ. I allowed it to bother me. I asked several others did they think we needed a new organ. I remember several people became stirred up about the organ. I judged the situation. Well, guess what? Now I am a pastor and, believe it or not, from time to time I get judged about the way we do things.

Let’s close. I want to applaud you. I rarely hear slander and judging anymore. For the past several years, there has been little compared to what we have experienced in past. Occasionally I will hear something, but I know you know better.

Please stand and join with me in prayer about this. I would like us to cross the aisles and join hands. I want to ask the Lord to help us. I want us to be convicted heavily the next time we catch ourselves slandering and judging others. I don’t want a reprobate mind. I don’t want to pronounce judgment upon myself. Will you please join with me in prayer?

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Intelligent Praise Part 1 – sermon notes

Values From the Kingdom – sermon video audio notes

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