6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Sometimes I feel more like a volunteer fire fighter than a pastor. We spend much of our time outing unnecessary fires created by gossip. Thank You Robert Mckenzie from "Good Shepherd Baptist Church" for the original messsag

We used to have an award that we gave out each month at the VW dealer, where I worked as shop foreman. It was called the “Crybaby” award and it was a baby’s pacifier mounted on a piece of wood. We gave it to the technician that griped and complained the most, each month. It’s sort of funny that the one in charge of presenting the award, our parts and service comptroller, usually did the most gripping.

We live in a world today that is very quick to pass judgment on others without looking at themselves first. We are quick to judge people based on their race, their income level, where they live and even their past.

We find it very easy to judge others based on our own standard of measure.

But if we will honestly measure ourselves against God’s standard we see how low we really are.

I have come to even understand, as I work in God’s church, that the church is not immune to criticism and judging. In the 20 years that I have been in ministry I have seen church folk judging each other, criticizing each other, running each other down, talking on the phone about each other and the list could go on and on. It seems to me that even the body of Christ is infected with this sickness.

Just because we say we know the Lord, and put on a suit on Sunday, go to church, read Scripture, sing, and shout does not mean we are totally right with God.

We can participate in all of the activities on Sunday then turn right around on Monday, if we wait that long, and judge and criticize one another.

You see the word judge means to: “Render a decision about someone or something based on either right information or wrong information.” Most of the time, when we judge our fellow man it’s based on wrong or false information.

Let’s take a little survey:

“How many in here this morning have been judged based on rumors and lies?”

“How many in here this morning have been judged because of your past?”

“How many in here this morning have been criticized for doing something different or just being different?”

Fault Finding Is Easy. Isaac Murray illustrates this in his story on how a dog hitched to a lawn mower stopped pulling to bark at a passerby. The boy who was guiding the mower said, “Don’t mind the dog, he is just barking for an excuse to rest.”

You see it’s easier to bark than to pull the mower.

Now when I was in the world, living in opposition to the Word of God, I thought that kind of stuff happened only in the world. But when I came to Jesus and got involved in the church I found out that it not only happens in the church but it takes on a whole different meaning and level.

See church folk criticize and find fault but then try to hide behind the Bible or their own personal so called righteousness.

You see we try to destroy others for what they are doing or not doing but then we forget about what we are doing behind closed doors at home, or that we say the very same things that we criticize someone else for saying, when we think no one is listening.

You see there are two categories of church related people:

There are SAINTS and then there are CHURCH FOLK.

Saints identify with Christ while Church Folk identify with the Devil.

Saints have the characteristics of Love, Peace, Joy, Longsuffering, Mercy, Compassion and Forgiveness.

Church Folk have the characteristics of Hate, Animosity, Jealousy, Vindictiveness and Criticism of others.

Listen to these quotes I read:

For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism. - Harrison’s Postulate

It is much easier to be critical than to be correct. - Disraeli

He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help. - Lincoln

You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him. - Booker T. Washington

Remember this while you’re trying to bury someone in the mud of shame and disgrace… The whole time you’re pushing their face into that mud, you’re getting that same mud all over yourself.

Let’s go to our passage for this morning and see what the Word of God has to say.

I. What does Criticism and Judging show the world about the Christian? -- vv.1-2

1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 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.

A. Criticism shows a lack of Christianity

James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor? Jesus tells us that He will use our own measuring stick to measure us. You can either let Him use His or yours but His will be more merciful…

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