James 4:11-12

Speak the Heart of the Father

 

Read:

Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. . . . There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another? James 4:11–12

 

Reflect:

Being a brother or sister of Jesus means we have spiritual siblings. As in any family, we siblings can easily be negative and judgmental of one another. James had this very sobering reminder: to speak evil of another brother or sister is to speak evil of the Law of God.

When we judge fellow believers, we imply that the Lord is incapable of adequately dealing with this particular child of His, so we who clearly see the problem will step in and resolve it. After all, we know what’s best for that person, what he or she is facing, and all the life details—past and present—so we have the right to judge and repair. But this is not so.

Since they aren’t receiving love and care, those being judged are often driven away from the community of believers and the healing love that only Jesus Christ can provide through them. Remember, it is the Lord’s place to act, and His authority and mercy bring healing to those in need. Our place is to love, care for, be available to, and pray for our brothers and sisters—and allow the Lord Jesus to do His redemptive work.

Thus, be careful about how you treat those who have done wrong. It’s not always your place to get involved. Trust God to lead you in the words to say at the right time.

 

Respond:

Dear Lord, today help me to be mindful of my words and to speak of others as though You were standing right next to me. Give me the power to let go of petty incidents and to trust You to pour Your grace through me. Amen