Joyce Meyer - James Chapter 3
James chapter 3, verse 13, and I wanna talk to you about the true fruit of wisdom because a wise man or a wise woman will also be very careful about what they say. Let me just take a little quick survey and ask a question. How many of you (we'll just pick on the ladies for a minute), how many of you think that you could change the atmosphere in your home by changing some of the things you say? Uh-oh, wow. Look at that. Well, we're gonna get a lot of good fruit out of this message.
How many of you men think you could change the... No, wait a minute. How many of you men think that you could have a much happier wife if you talked to her a little differently? Dave? Do not sit there like a block of wood. You and Mike are both just sitting there like... No, I have to say my husband is so positive. And every once in a while when I want to be negative, and he won't be negative with me, it's annoying. Amen? If I'm in a mood to have a fit and he's just gonna tell me everything's gonna be wonderful, I'm just like... Well, you know what I mean. You can change things just by how you talk. "Well, bless God. Why does everything have to be my responsibility"?
Well, let me just say this, whoever does the right thing first is the most powerful person. Whoever does the right thing first is the most powerful person. Now, wisdom is to be sought after. And I don't have time to get into Proverbs but, boy, Proverbs is so powerful about wisdom. It's really the beginning of a blessed life. And if you define wisdom, I've heard it said that it's the proper use of knowledge, which that's very true because it doesn't do us any good to know anything if we don't use it properly. Sometimes people have got so much knowledge that it actually steals their faith and causes all kinds of problems in relationships. But I have my own little definition of wisdom and I think it's fairly accurate and so I'll just give you what I think wisdom is.
I think wisdom is to do now what you'll be happy with later in life. I think wisdom thinks things through because if you read Proverbs, wisdom involves prudence, which is good management. It involves discernment, which means that we look beyond just the surface of things into the deeper meaning of maybe what's going on. You see, a person who has no wisdom will do what we said this morning we shouldn't do. They'll see somebody that's not like them or maybe looks what they would think is a little odd and they size them up as being a goofball. But somebody who has got some wisdom will see beyond that and actually take the time to find out the heart of the person. And so, wisdom, wow, it's just a great, great, great thing to study.
But now if we look at James chapter 3, beginning in verse 13, it says that, "Who is there among you who is wise and intelligent? Then let him by his noble living show forth his good works with the unobtrusive humility which is the proper attribute of true wisdom". So, first of all, a proud person, a person who is haughty, and walks in pride and is full of himself, and thinks he's better than other people, and smarter than other people does not have one drop of wisdom. Thank you. "If you have jealousy and (envy) and contention," which is strife, "(and selfish ambition) in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the truth".
That is not wisdom either. It's foolish to be jealous of what somebody else has because that's never gonna get you what they have. The only way we're ever gonna get anything is to ask God for it and let him give it to us in his own way and in his own time. It's foolish for us to compare ourselves to other people because God is never gonna help us be somebody else. He's only gonna help you be you. You shouldn't even compare your prayer life to somebody else's prayer life. It would be totally useless for you to ask me how long I pray every day because even if I knew, which I don't, I wouldn't tell you. You know why? Because I don't want anybody comparing themselves to anybody else when it comes to your relationship with God.
You are a unique individual and God wants to have a unique, and an intimate, and a personal relationship with you. And this is one of the things that it means when the Bible says, "He whom the son sets free is free indeed". You are free to be unique. The world may think you're weird, but God just wants you to be unique. "But the wisdom that is from above is first of all pure (undefiled): peace-loving".
Let me ask you a question, do you love peace? Okay, can I tell you something? You're never gonna have it if you don't have it on purpose. I said, you're never gonna have it if you don't have it on purpose. You gotta pursue it. You gotta seek it. And you gotta go after it. And you gotta make whatever changes you need to make in your life and in your behavior in order to have peace because peace is one of the most valuable, most powerful things that we can have. Peace is connected to God's anointing and it's connected to his blessings in our life. Peace.
I tell ya, I lived in the war zone all my life and I finally got to the point, especially I would watch Dave and see how peaceful he was and I just thought, maybe I could have that too. I grew up in turmoil and I stayed full of turmoil for many, many, many years. It didn't take much at all to upset me, to offend me, to get me off in a wrong direction. And when I got to the point where I wanted peace so bad that I was willing to change whatever I had to change in my life in order to have it, I started having peace. Do you know that I found out that to fight with somebody to try to prove that I'm right is not worth the little fleshly zing I get out of it just to say, "I was right. See, I was right".
You know, being right is highly overrated and it costs you a lot more than it's worth when you get it. We need to do a little more of what Jesus did. Just keep quiet and if somebody wants to think they're right, let them think they're right. And if you need to be proven to be right, let's let God do the proving instead of trying to do it ourselves. Especially over petty stuff that doesn't even make any sense at all. C'mon, I know some of the arguments you have because Dave and I used to have 'em. We don't mess with it anymore but you get old enough, you finally realize that you don't have anymore days to waste being mad over something stupid.
How many of you have ever argued over which directions to take to go somewhere? And don't expect him to stop and ask for directions because he won't. That's not a male trait. They cannot ask for directions. My goodness, somebody might think they don't know what they're doing and that would be tragic. Whoo! Jesus. Wisdom. More wisdom could save a marriage. Peace is so wonderful. Verse 15, "This superficial wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (animal), even devilish and (demoniacal). For wherever", now, I want you to listen to this 'cause this is good for your homes, "For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention," which is strife, "(rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices".
Can I just say mom and dad, if you're gonna have a home full of strife, you can expect your kids to be rebellious. Thank you for that little bit of agreement. But the wisdom from above. You know, there's earthly wisdom. There's people that think they're wise and that they know so much, but we live by a different kind of wisdom.
Ginger: Joyce, people are going to love this, today, because they all know you so well, you share everything, but I thought it'd be really fun to talk about who you really are. How do you describe yourself? Who is Joyce Meyer?
Joyce Meyer: When I saw that on the paperwork that you sent home, I thought, "Describe myself"? And so, I had to really think about it. Well, first of all, let's just say that I am wonderful, amazing. On a scale of intelligence, I'm almost at a genius-level. The thing that I found really interesting about this, and I'm just gonna be honest and hope people really understand it. Like, if you would have asked me to describe myself, probably even 15 years ago, I mean, I would have said, "I get angry too quick. I'm impatient". I mean, I coulda ran off a list a mile long. And I actually, had to think to find faults today, not because I don't have any, but because I'm so accustomed now, to seeing myself in Christ, and the minute I do something wrong, asking for and receiving forgiveness, and then letting it go, that I don't see myself the way I used to see myself. Now, I know God is changing me, but I just thought it was interesting. I thought, "Well, I almost feel bad that I don't have a long list of faults here". But we really should not feel that way because God wants us to see ourselves in Christ, not in our old, natural, fleshly, sinful state.
Ginger: Yeah, how many people when you say, "Describe yourself," would start with a list of what's wrong with me?
Joyce Meyer: Well, I would have.
Joyce Meyer: And today, you know, I thought, "Well, the Bible says we're fearfully and wonderfully made," and the so, I do like myself. And there was a time when I didn't like myself at all, I mean, I actually, hated myself. But to try and do what you asked me to do, you know, first of all...
Ginger: You're so good like that.
Joyce Meyer: First of all, I love the Lord very much. He's the most important person in my life. And I would like to hope that, that's number one on everybody's list of: "Describe yourself". You know, I'm just, in love with Jesus. And I'm a wife, married 54 years, a mother, four grown children, 12 grandchildren. Two of my grandchildren are getting married this year one in October and one on January 1st.
Ginger: That's exciting.
Joyce Meyer: Decided to get married January 1st, 21. And of course, I've already got a few that are married, and then I have two great-grandchildren. And I've been in ministry for 45 years, and I love, love, love teaching the Word of God. It's just, it's not, I mean, I just love it. And I really believe it, and I know that the word really helps people. I know that if people will, when I think about what a mess I was and how unhappy I was before I learned who I was in Christ, and so, I wanna make sure that people understand that today. It's like, when you receive Christ as your Savior, he comes to live in you, but your life is also in him. And so, God chooses to view us the same way that he does Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, "He that knew no sin became sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ". So, I think it's very beautiful that all of our life we have "Wrongness". I know that's not right grammar, but the devil constantly wants to talk to us about what's wrong with us. Think about that, that God views us, he chooses to see us the same as he does Christ. If we're believers in Christ, he chooses to see us, and I've got a whole list. We actually, have it online, which I'mma talk about a little bit more later, but it's called, "Knowing who I am in Christ". And there's, I don't know, maybe close to 40 things in here that the Bible says that, in Christ, we are these things. Like, for example, "I am complete in Christ," that's Colossians 2:10. Well, what does that mean on a practical level? Well, that means, if I'm not married, I don't have to feel out of place being with other people who are married because it's not having a man that completes me, I'm complete in Christ. And there's all kinds of examples. But back to trying to describe myself...
Ginger: But one thing, real quick, that I love about that list of who we are in Christ, is we are not those things without him.
Joyce Meyer: No.
Ginger: So, I am not complete on my own. And so, that entire list, it fills the void of everything that I am not and makes it who he sees me instead of how I see myself.
Joyce Meyer: Like, he fills up our weaknesses.
Joyce Meyer: It's in our weaknesses that he shows his strength the best.
Joyce Meyer: And then, what is it? 1st or 2nd Corinthians chapter 12. And when I think about how many churches never teach people anything about who they are in Christ, it's always about who we are as sinners. But we're forgiven. Our sins have been washed away completely, and God forgets them, and he moves them as far as the east is from the west and he remembers them no more. And Paul said, "The one thing I do, one thing that's more important to me than anything is forgetting what lies behind and pressing toward the things that are ahead".
Ginger: It's just like you were saying, how you were before is not what you're going to read now.
Joyce Meyer: No, so I actually, feel like the list that I made, I got a lot more right with me than wrong with me. But really, that shows progress because it would not have been that way years ago. And that's why, I want the people that I teach, that's what I want for them. I just feel so bad for people who feel so bad about themselves, because I suffered with that for so many years. I didn't like this... I didn't like that. I didn't like my voice. I didn't like my thighs. You know, there were so many things I didn't like. But we're created by God, we're not accidents. And the Bible says, "We are fearfully and wonderfully made, that we are the apple of God's eye," that he loves us and he'll give us favor and... See, I've been at this long enough now, that I actually, believe it all.
Ginger: That's a great place to be.
Joyce Meyer: I mean, I'm not just trying to believe it, I believe it. So, anyway, I love good movies. I love dogs. Although, I don't currently have one. I had a dog for 12 years. And I really enjoy writing. I enjoy studying. And it's a good thing 'cause I have to do a lot of it. Now, I am a little impatient, just to throw something in there that I know that I am. But not so much impatient with like, waiting on God. But the place where I'm impatient is like, I'm always wanting to get to the next thing, while I'm at this thing. So, just to give you an example, you know, I'll still be a long way from my house and I will already have my front door key in my hand.
Ginger: And sometimes the car door open.
Joyce Meyer: Yeah, now, wait. You're tellin' my story.
Ginger: I'm sorry. Okay, go ahead.
Joyce Meyer: And my daughter said to me, one day, she said, "Mom, would you mind not getting out of the car before I park it"?
Ginger: That's so perfect.
Joyce Meyer: Because, I do. I mean, sometimes, I'll start opening the door and wanting to get out and the car is still running, so.
Ginger: I can relate.
Joyce Meyer: I don't... Let's just say that I'm always ready for the next thing.
Ginger: See, that sounds much better than impatient.
Joyce Meyer: Yeah, I does. I like that. But I am impatient with people who don't do what they say they're gonna do. That, as far as, like, one of my pet-peeves, I really believe in doing what you tell people you're gonna do, or if you can't do it, to communicate. And it just bugs the living daylights out of me when somebody is supposed to be at my house at 12, and they show up at 12:45, and didn't even bother giving me a call, you know? I can understand people being late, but you can communicate about it. And I know communication is a gift for me. And so, I'm really trying to be patient with people who don't communicate because just like it's a gift for me, I mean, some people it's the last thing they think of, you know? It's like, I don't know, they assume you just know that, you know? And I make very fast decisions which is good. I'm more of a gut person, you know? I don't decide things based on every detail, but I'm more like, if I feel right about it, I go with it. But sometimes, that can, of course, get me in trouble. And so, hopefully, I've learned to, especially, on the really important things to take enough time, because I can tell you, you just sleep on something one night, and you can feel so much different about it than you did the day before. I workout 3 times a week. When you tell me a story, I like the bottom line. I don't need to know the cat was in the third limb of the tree that has four leaves, and you know, it's like...
Ginger: And the cat had one green eye and one blue eye.
Joyce Meyer: Yeah, right.
Ginger: These are fun.
Joyce Meyer: Yeah, sometimes people frustrate me who aren't as good as I am at something. You know, we kinda just, the things that God has gifted us to do, we need to be very careful that we don't expect everybody else to do them.
Joyce Meyer: I still have a real difficult time if there's any kind of strife in my family, I wanna fix it. 'cause when I was growing up, if daddy was mad, I would do everything I could to try to fix his mood. And I'm better than I used to be, but that's still probably, the most major thing that I still would say that's a real weakness for me. So, I have to be careful in that, that I don't turn into a people-pleaser just to keep people peaceful, when there's something I need to confront to confront it. So, I'm a rescuer. And I'll rescue people that don't even wanna be rescued.
Ginger: I'm gonna rescue you, like it or not.
Joyce Meyer: I have to be careful with that because sometimes in a desire to rescue you can become an enabler. And I think that's challenging for people in ministry because part of our gifting is to help people and to rescue them. And so, I'm always trying to make sure that I have the balance in that. I love to laugh. I don't think we can ever laugh too much. We just need to laugh. And I love to do things for people. I find great joy in just planning to do something for somebody. And I was always a very, very selfish person and that still can be a weakness for me. Not in some areas, but let's just say, for example, I wanna go to one restaurant and Dave wants to go to another one. Well, I'll like, really push for the one I want to go to, you know? And here again, prayerfully, I'm getting better. But I don't focus on that because I know that, you know, the Bible says, "He that hath begun a good work in us is well able to complete it and bring it to its finish". So, God is working in us every, single day. And we are changing. 2 Corinthians 3 says, "From glory to glory". So, a little bit, each day, we're changing. And sometimes, it doesn't seem that way to us because maybe, the problem is so overwhelming. But yes, I'm still selfish in some ways, but I'm so much better than where I used to be. And I think that God wants us to focus on our progress, not how far we have to go.
Ginger: That is so great.
Joyce Meyer: Don't you agree with that?
Ginger: I absolutely agree, absolutely.
Joyce Meyer: That doesn't mean we ignore our weaknesses. I know they're there. But they're certainly, not in the forefront of my brain, anymore.
Ginger: And he helps us with all those things. That really is what life is about, it's growing closer and closer to him, and more like him, and letting his righteousness fix those things that we deal with. But this has been really fun. It's so fun to get to know you, of course, to hear a few things. And the lesson in all of that is vital. It's who we are in Christ that really matters.
Joyce Meyer: Yeah, and I wanna tell people they can download this.
Ginger: Yes, we have it online all the time.
Joyce Meyer: It's online and all you have to do is look up, "Who I am in Christ", by Joyce Meyer, and this whole long list will come up. And it's just like, you know, "In Christ, I'm free from sin". In Christ, the Bible actually, says this in Ephesians 1:4, "I am holy and without blame before God in love". He looks at us and doesn't blame us. God is not mad at us. He loves us. And if people can just learn who they are in Christ, I always say, "Learn that there's a big difference in your who, and your do". You know, I do things wrong, but I'm not wrong. What I've done is wrong, but as a person before God, with his son living in my heart through the Holy Spirit, I'm loved, I'm seen as righteous and holy, you know? See, God sees our heart, and as long as you want to keep growing and being what he wants you to be, then he sees it as if it's already done.
Ginger: Yeah. Well, thank you Joyce. It's been fun.
Joyce Meyer: You're welcome. Thank you.