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For the past two weeks we have focused on one another passages. All the passages we’ve looked at urged us to take positive action, such as being hospitable, loving each other or spurring each other on to do good things. Today’s passage is different. It warns us to avoid something. Listen to James 4:11, “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.” (NIV)
The word translated “slander” literally means to speak against another. The noun form can be translated as “back biter.” Isn’t that a great mental picture? What do you see when you think of back biting? I see a sneaky little dog with a nasty disposition. He never attacks you head on. The little cur may growl, but his main attack is to sneak behind you and bite your leg.
Some people are like that. If they have a problem with you, they don’t try to work it out face to face. No, when you’re not looking that say bad things about you to someone else. Face them, and they may grumble. But when you’re not present, they lash out viciously.
Don’t be a sneaky little mutt! Don’t slander others. It’s far more serious than you think. As the next verse says, “who are you to judge your neighbor?”
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.