James – Tue – 21-12-14

When people get upset with others, they usually say bad things about them. Whether verbal attacks or messages on social media, they attack. Sometimes the words are snide and catty, at other times filled with curses and vitriol. Sometimes they say wicked things to the other person’s face, at other times behind their back. Judgmental anger is almost always accompanied by slander.

This is really a dangerous behavior. Why? Well, not so much because it invites retaliation from the person attacked, but because it  invites God’s judgement. Hear what James 4:11-12 says, “Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you–who are you to judge your neighbor?” (NIV)

Did you catch the part where slander and judgement is an attempt to take the position of the only Lawgiver and Judge, namely God himself? That’s right, people who slander and judge others think they are above God’s moral laws. They are acting like God. To paraphrase the last sentence in the passage, “Who do you think you are to judge your neighbor?” The next time you’re angry with someone, be sure to address the issue without verbally attacking the person.

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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.