Faithlife Sermons

#6 Stand Beside People

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I - Maverik when I raise my hand.

Tell about maverick
Someone trained him to be afraid of a raised hand, and a loud male voice

Y- We Know how much that hurts and the cycle it perpetuates. The Church has been serously damged by this. We know its wrong.

When people see a christian raise their hand, they flinch. because of the way the church has been judgemental in the past, and the ways we still are today. We have earned a reptuation for judgmentalism.
That means it doesnt take much to communicate that. WE HAVE TO BE SO CAREFUL.
when people see a christian raise their hand they “flinch.” We see judgment first even when its not there. Because we have trained people to think it is there.
Outside the chruch: People dont want anything to do wiht us. THey are scared of us.
Inside the church: We are afraid to be honest with each ohter about our sins, doubts, and fears
ALl of us have a story of feeling JUDGED by christians, being condemened, having someone STAND AGASINT us
The Problem:
Judgementalism in the church drives people away from God, from Church, and from Christians.
Sets people adrift and makes it VERY difficult to come back
Creates the FALSE impression that you must be PERFECT to belong to God.
Creates the FALSE impression that everyone in the church is perfect.
Makes it VERY hard to get help when you need it.
Open’s the church's exit wide into a world willing to accept you with utter indifference

G- James has somehting to say about words of judgement in the Body.

Transition: IT looks like Religious people have had this problem for a LONG time
Background - James’ audiance had the same problem we have.
Judgemental words
What James is saying: Judgement and Slander - THE BACKGROUND
The 2 chapters leading up to this have been about the damage that words can do. How they can destory people and how they are destroying the communities of christians James is writing to.
But there is one more big reason why a posture of judgement and slander towards others has no place in the Christian community.
James says Its a problem of LOCATION. FOCUS ON THE TEXT
Read it
According to James in addition to all the harm slander and casting judgement on others causes the church and other people.
It also destroys your own relationship with God.
Because according to James in order to look down on someone in judgement, you have to climb up and take God’s spot, as someone who gets to decide how God’s word interacts with someone else life.
You imply that your stuff is so figured out, that you have time to worry about what your neighbor is doing wrong.
Your lawn is so well taken care off you can offer opinions on your neighbor’s yard.
James is saying when they busy themselves with the question of whether others are following the law, they no longer see themselves as under that.
Because to know if someone else’s christian faith is real, to know if someone else is living faithfully you need a gods Eye view of the situation. Right, you need to know everything around that action.
Here is an example.
When they judge, they are taking GOd’s seat, above the law. They are saying, I know whats right and whats wrong. I have perfect information. Dont look at me, look at them.
When you judge, you are taking GOd’s seat, above the law. You are saying, I know whats right and whats wrong. I have perfect information. Dont look at me, look at them.
James is saying that when they judge they are stealing God’s chair. Your lifiting yourself up to God’s place.
If you have ever done this you know how it feels. In condeming somone else you imply that you are alittle closer to God than they are, you know a little better. I may be bad in some ways but at least i am not doing “that.”
Give some examples of ways (I have done) we do this...
Judging the world...
“Real Christians”
Real christians cant vote for that political party.
Real christians go to church every week
Real christians dont drink
Real christians dont see R rated movies
Real christians
Real christians serve at their church
Real christians wouldnt use that language
No before we get too excited, it goes both ways....
real christians wouldn’t judge those people.
We have sat in God’s chair, ANd people got hurt...
We have sat in God’s chair, ANd people got hurt...
So what do we do?
Ignore the sin and the sinner?
Keep our mouths shut.
Look the other way?
Encourage or condone sin?
But I dont think that is the answer.
Jesus, even though he had the right to stand above, chose to stand beside.
He stood not above in judgement and condemnation, but in love. Did he stand with people and encourage them to turn from sin, YES. But always from beside.
His condmentation was reserved for the “self made judges” of his day
His condmentation was reserved for the “self made judges” of his day
Just like in Real Estate, what matters is location, location, location. - We are called to be stand BESIDE people. Not STAND ABOVE OR AGAINST.

Y- Dont Stand ABOVE, stand BESIDE.

We are called to be stand beside people.
A stand beside person...
is On the same LEVEL as others.
Right next to the struggling, and the sinner.
SOmeone who is honest and aware of their own sin and brokeness
LOVES FIRST
Only corrects, only points out issues, in relationship with anyone who needs correction.
Listening, encouraging and seeking the best for others.
A stand beside person NEVER condemns from afar or corrects wihtout making it clear, they stand with the person.
Speaks last
through presence, never from far away, always from up close. Jesus never condemend from afar. HE CAME TO EARTH, to save. He could have judged from heaven.
Stand beside people live life on the same foundation James is written on. Jesus greatest commandment. To love God
LOVING NEIGHBOR AS SELF
Challenge...
1. When you find yourself in one of those “judgement” kinds of converstaions. And doing that “isnt it just terrible how...” conversertatino that we have some times about other
2. When you see somone donig wrong
When somone admits their struggle
Instead of shaking your head ask, is God calling me to stand beside that person?
Who is it that God is calling you to stand BESIDE in love?
Where is God calling you to be vunerable to get help?
We are called to be stand beside people...

W- Imagine a chuch where it is safe to make mistakes. Where it is safe to need help. Where we stand beside instead of standing above. We are called to be that church.

It takes time because we have to become STAND beside people. And even more time to earn the trust of others.
Imagine the way our lives will change when we become increasingly sure that this church. THat the people of this church will show us love when we fall.
Its takes tremendous courage to admit you need help.
That unlike what so often happens when we face tragedy, or doubt, or fear, or get pulled into sin, instead of our brothers and sisters lining up to condemn. They line up with love, love like Gods, love that never ever ever gives up on us.
We are called to be that church. People who know they have no buisness in God’s chair. people who are honest about our doubts, sins, and brokenness before God and each other and because of that are FAR more able to love God and to love neighbor.
Jesus invites us today to come to his table. He came from the place of judgement to stand beside us, and he died so that we might not be condemned but be set free in him. As we come to his table and eat the bread and the cup, we remember that we dont desrve it, we havent earned it, but still are welcome in his presence.
Because he chose to come and stand beside us.
Lets pray,
“God help us to be stand beside people”
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