If You Don't Have Something Nice To Say. . . Come Sit Next To Me
Sermon shared by Jim Butcher
Summary: This sermon deals with those who like to complain and enjoy criticizing others. Unearths 5 things to deal with the critical problem of having a critical heart.
Audience: General adults
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1. Choose your only legitimate option: speak to them, not about them.
- v. 1 - “against”
- Big Lie: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
- when people believe this, it seems so impossible that they dismiss God’s instructions.
- cf. Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 13:2, 10; 1 Timothy 1:20; Titus 3:10.
2. Clear your criticisms with God first.
- v. 2b - “And the Lord heard of it.”
- our first instinct is to go to a friend; it should be to go to God.
3. Determine if your motive is to lift up or tear down.
- v. 3 - tearing him down.
- Ephesians 4:29; 1 Thessalonians 5:11.
- is this a personal attack or concerned with what they’re doing?
- vv. 1-2 - stated reason was not the real reason.
- Matthew 7:1-5.
4. Prepare for the boomerang your criticism creates.
- v. 10.
- realize that your critical spirit will color you.
- God’s irony: Miriam’s prejudice - skin color; God’s justice - skin color.
- Miriam’s complaints about Moses’ wife’s black skin resulted in her being cursed with white (leprous) skin.
- our constant criticism will often not do much to the other person, but will destroy us.
- shape this often takes: someone is constantly negative about other people and they end up in a prison of negativity, creating darkness and health problems for them.
5. Fear the dangers of speaking against God’s anointed.
- v. 6-8.
- the criticisms were not warranted - vv. 2-3.
- this is not just a point about preachers - any Christian through whom God is working powerfully can have the anointing of God.
- could be another Sunday School teacher whose classes seem to be fuller all the time and you say it’s because they don’t teach the hard stuff; could be a co-worker who’s making a dramatic impact for Christ and you say it’s because they’ll hang out with anyone; could be a pastor whose church is reaching people for Christ and you say it’s because they merely entertain.
- God will zealously protect His anointed man or woman.
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