Daily Devotional Friday 4th December 2020

by William Moody

James 4:11–12

11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers.1 The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?


[1] 4:11 Or brothers and sisters


The command not to slander one another (v11) is closely linked to the call for humility (v10). One of the main causes of slandering others is pride, thinking we’re better than them. When we speak evil of others we are sitting in judgment and we’re saying we have the right to accuse them to others.

James highlights the seriousness of this behaviour as it is to speak against God’s law which forbids this (v11b). So when we judge others we ourselves are guilty before the law.

There is only one person who has the right to judge and that is Jesus Christ (v12). Jesus will not only judge but will send people to their eternal reward or eternal damnation. This brings home to us the seriousness of acting according to Christ’s will and not to act ourselves as judges.

We all know this teaching not to speak evil of others yet we so quickly repeat this sin again and again. The tongue problem here is a problem of the heart. It is only as we are in a right relationship with God and are humbled before His Almighty and Holy presence that we will begin to be able to restrain our tongues. Pray to God about your practice of speaking evil of others.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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