Speak No Evil – sermon notes – If we really want to enjoy life, we must keep our tongue from speaking evil about anyone. We will eat the consequences. We think we are only hurting the person we are talking about, but in reality we are poisoning our very own lives and futures.
POWER OF WORDS
By Pastor Delbert Young
Speak No Evil
Speak No Evil
Scriptures: Proverbs 18:20-21, 1 Peter 3:10, Proverbs 6:16-19, Proverbs 15:4, Revelation 22:2, Ephesians 4:29, John 8:4-8
We have been talking about the power of words.
(Amplified) Proverbs 18:20 A man’s self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil].
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].
Our lives are products of our words. Words are extremely powerful.
IT’S SAD SO MANY PEOPLE — USE THIS POWER TO PURPOSELY HURT OTHERS. Gossip, slander, and backbiting are all prevalent in our society today and in the church.
THE ENEMY GETS GREAT JOY when we gossip about people. He knows it will mess up our lives.
1 Peter 3:10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.
If we really want to enjoy life, we must keep our tongue from speaking evil about anyone. We will eat the consequences. We think we are only hurting the person we are talking about, but in reality we are poisoning our very own lives and futures.
EVIL SPEAKING PUTS US ON THE BAD SIDE OF THE LORD. The enemy knows this. Proverbs 6 tells us seven things the Lord hates and detests him.
Proverbs 6:16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:
Proverbs 6:17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
Proverbs 6:18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,
Proverbs 6:19 a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.
How does someone stir up dissension among people? They do it by speaking evil with their tongue.
Three of those things the Lord hates have to do with an evil tongue. It doesn’t say God dislikes those things. God hates those things. He hates the sins of the tongue.
SPEAKING EVIL DOES TREMENDOUS SPIRITUAL DAMAGE TO OTHERS AND OUR OWN SELVES. The enemy knows this.
(Amplified) Proverbs 15:4 A gentle tongue [with its healing power] is a tree of life, but willful contrariness in it breaks down the spirit.
When we talk with people, we are either receiving into our spirits healing or poison. When you listen to a critical judgmental person, it is poisoning your spirit. If you speak critical and judgmental words, you are poisoning someone’s spirit. The opposite is true. If we speak good words about people, we are healing those listening.
The book of Revelation speaks about the tree of life.
Revelation 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
If we want to be a part of Lamb’s wife and live in the kingdom of God, we must keep our tongues from evil. We are to use our words to bring healing all year long and every place we go.
Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
EVEN IF IT IS TRUE, GOD DOES NOT WANT us to ever say anything negative about anyone. God wants us to only say things to build people. He wants us to say good things about people.
It doesn’t matter if someone has done something horrible. We are not judge and criticize them. “Oh, but Delbert, it is true. They are sinners.”
John chapter 8 tells us a wonderful story. Jesus was teaching one day in the temple courts. Bursting in came a group of Pharisees dragging along a woman. They seemed happy to announce to Jesus and anyone else around they had caught her in the very act of adultery.
John 8:4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.”
John 8:5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”
John 8:6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him . . .
Did you realize the person criticizing someone to you is setting a trap for you? We know the enemy is setting us up, but did you realize the gossip is setting you up also? They will tell someone else what you said and often tell the very person they were criticizing. I have had people call me and say, “You won’t believe what so-and-so just said about you.”
The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Now what do you say?” Surely you will not disagree with the judgmental Law of Moses. Jesus did something very interesting.
John 8:6 . . . But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
Jesus tried to ignore them. What a powerful lesson this is. We cannot afford to miss this. When we are critical and condemning, God will not listen to us. He acts as if we are not even there. He would rather scribble in dirt than listen to judgmental people.
THIS WAS OFFENSIVE TO THOSE EVIL SPEAKERS. However, he didn’t care if he offended them. We must take the same attitude. I don’t care if a negative, critical, judgmental person likes me. Their plan is to crucify me anyway.
How do you respond when someone drags a person before you with his or her tongue speaking evil? Do you grab the first stone you can get your hand upon and join in, or do you offend the evil speaker?
John 8:7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
John 8:8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
They would not leave him alone. They kept on and kept on until finally he gave them his response. Have you ever experienced something like this? You attempted to ignore the judgmental comments. You attempted to change the subject, but they kept on. The next time you experience it, respond the way Jesus did. Tell the evil speaker you are not going to judge anyone and if they are so perfect, they can.
JESUS VERY CLEARLY GAVE US THE REQUIREMENTS to make it acceptable for anyone to have a critical and judgmental spirit. It’s fine to judge people as long as you have never once sinned. I don’t know about you, but it takes me out of the stone throwing business.
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT PEOPLE HAVE GONE THROUGH IN LIFE. You don’t know the pains and the hurts they have suffered. You don’t know why they act the way they act. Most often there is a reason people have the hang-ups they have. We only see actions. We do not see the heart.
WHO AM I TO JUDGE YOU?I don’t know what you have gone through in life. I don’t know the struggles you have faced. Some people have gone through so many hurts from the past they don’t know why they act the way they act. The last thing they need is for someone to throw rocks at them and tell them what a lousy person they are.
JESUS SAID IN THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT anybody could criticize. Anybody can judge. Anybody can condemn. But where is the love that can reach out to a person even when they have made a huge mistake? Where is the love that will stick with the guilty? The Bible says love overlooks a person’s faults. Love believes the best in people.
WE MUST BE CAREFUL AS A CHURCH to never look down on anyone coming through those doors. It doesn’t matter what they have done. Sometimes people come to church as a last resort. They are struggling with things greater than we can imagine. There are people doing there best to simply stay sane. May God forgive us if we ever do anything other than build them up and give them a new hope. They have enough people criticizing and throwing stones at them.
WE HAVE GOT TO SEE PEOPLE THROUGH THE EYES OF JESUS and share his love and compassion and mercy and forgiveness. Yes they may have addictions, wrong kinds of lifestyles, and caught in the very act. But where is the love capable of looking beyond and desiring to forgive and restore? Where is the love capable of building people up? Where is the love capable of standing beside the person and challenge the evil speakers when they are making their accusations? It’s the kind of church I want to be a part. What about you? I hate evil speaking. I detest slander and backbiting.
All those religious leaders left from the oldest to the youngest.
John 8:10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
John 8:11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Jesus said not one word of criticism to her. Think about it. He simply showed her unconditional love and unconditional mercy. He didn’t want details. He simply wanted to give her a hope and a future. This is what we are to do.
ONE DAY WE WILL NEED MERCY TOO. It may be we need God’s mercy to heal us for a disease or mercy to forgive us from a sin. The way we can assure we get it is to have given it.
Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
The more mercy you show people, the more mercy God will give you. I don’t know about you, but I want God’s mercy.
I have a friend who was very opposed to divorce. (Understand I don’t think divorce is good, but it does happen.) My friend was extremely critical about anyone divorced. He was outspoken and crude about it. He had no mercy. He was all about judgment. Unfortunately, one of his children went through a difficult divorce. You can imagine how hurt he was. See, you should never judge and criticize because it will come back upon you.
Think about those religious leaders. They caught the woman in the very act of adultery. They were not at the temple sharing and teaching God’s word. They were not out feeding the poor and homeless. They were not in the hospitals visiting the sick. They were out being busybodies and peeking through windows. They were meddling in the affairs of others. They were looking for some good gossip.
(TLT) 1 Thessalonians 4:11 This should be your ambition: to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we commanded you before.
This was the whole reason some of us needed to come to church today so we could hear this one Bible verse. “MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.” Some people do nothing else but look for something to talk about. Some people have tongues so long they can sit in the den and lick a spoon in the kitchen.
JOKE: Three nuns were on a train and decided to confess to each other their greatest sins. The first nun said, “My greatest sin is lust. I struggle with lustful desires.” The second nun said, “My greatest sin is alcohol. I love to get drunk.” The third nun sat there quietly. The other two said to her, “Come on, we’ve told you our sins. Now you have to tell us yours.” The third nun finally said, “My greatest sin is I gossip, and I can’t wait to get off this train.”
“Mind your own business.” This may not sound real spiritual, but it’s some of the best advice I will ever give you. You don’t need to have the latest scoop on everybody. You don’t need to tell people what everyone else is doing.
A BUSYBODY IS SOMEONE WHO is always going around looking for the latest gossip. “You won’t believe what I heard.” “This is hot off the press.” “O girlfriend, do I have some news for you.” No, you need to start minding your own business.
AND WE SHOULD NOT BE SHARING OUR “OPINIONS” with everybody. “Well, let me tell you what I would do if I were you.” “Let me tell you what I think.” No, you need to mind your own business. God didn’t call us to be spiritual police.
If you are a busybody you will always be critical. You will always be starting and spreading rumors. “I don’t know why they bought that house. I don’t know how they can afford it.” It’s none of your business. If Bob wants to buy a house then it is Bob’s business. “Well, I don’t see how Bob could afford this kind of a house. He must doing something wrong.” Next thing you know, you are insinuating Bob is selling drugs or hooked up with the mafia. You’re a Pinocchio want-to-be, but instead of your noise growing from lying, your tongue is growing from gossiping.
I BELIEVE SOME OF US WOULD GO TO AN ENTIRELY NEW LEVEL OF VICTORY if we would simply begin minding our own business. Nothing does more damage to relationships and destroys lifelong friendships any quicker than when we spend time with people who spread rumors and gossip.
IT IS JUST AS WRONG TO ALLOW OURSELVES TO LISTEN to gossip as it is to do it. Actually, we are supposed to stop this stuff.
(TLB) Proverbs 11:13 A gossip goes around spreading rumors, while a trustworthy man tries to quiet them.
The best thing you can do when someone begins gossiping and talking about someone is to stop it before it starts. Say, “Let’s pray for the person.” If this doesn’t stop it, simply walk away. Your ears are not garbage cans for people to fill with filthy garbage about others. We have got to learn how to defend people like Jesus defended the woman caught in adultery.
SOMETIMES I THINK WE ARE AFRAID we will miss something important if we don’t listen. We will put our trust in someone we shouldn’t, or think better of someone than we ought. No, if you know the person and they have been good to you, then why do you want to mess it up by knowing something bad about them? We should want to think the best of people, not know negative stuff about people. We all have negative stuff. So what’s the big deal?
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?
Jesus goes on to say, “You hypocrite. Get your own life fixed before you judge someone else.” We all have stuff, but where is the love that looks past the stuff and sees the best in people?
DO YOU KNOW WHAT BIBLICAL SLANDER IS? Slander is saying anything causing people to have a lesser opinion of another person. We think slander is when someone says something about someone not true. No. God defines slander as anything casting a shadow on another’s reputation. This is why the Lord hates it when we talk about people. We magnify the stuff and not the good.
Let me encourage you today. If you really want to enjoy life, keep your tongue from speaking evil. Stay on the good side of God and never talk about people. Be a healing tree of life. Be like Jesus and rather scribble in dirt than listen to slander about people. Only say things to build up people. Mind your own business. When people begin talking to you about others, be a trustworthy person and stop them. Let’s learn to see beyond the stuff in people and magnify the good. If we will, our days will be good. Our lives will be blessed. God will bless our lives beyond our wildest dreams.
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