James- Day 51

Monday, November 7, 2011

Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? James 4:11-12

James addresses Christian brothers and the way they talk to and about each other. He specifically tells them not to speak “evil of one another.” “Evil” here speaks of slander, false accusation, careless gossip, and defamation of character. This is not speaking against holding someone accountable or confronting someone over sin. That is something that is commanded in other parts of scripture. Rather, James is making sure that people who are in the church and claim the name of Christ be careful about each others’ reputation.
Since James was addressing Jewish Christians he knew that they had a tendency to like rules, and to think that problems could be solved with more rules. When people didn’t keep these extra rules (that weren’t really in the Bible) they would be criticized and gossiped about.
James goes on to explain why it’s so important not to do this. When one person holds someone else to rules that are not in the law, or falsly accuses someone of breaking God’s law, they begin to make themselves the authority over and above God’s law. In that way they “judge the law” as inadequate or they try to take the laws place. James goes on to say that since it is against God’s law to falsely accuse, defame, and gossip about others, those who do this are actually breaking the law that they think they hold up so highly.
James goes on to say in verse 12 that God is the only one who has given and kept the law, so He is the only one who can judge. When we falsely accouse, defame, or add to the law we put ourselves in a place that only God should have.

Application:
Have you talked badly about someone behind their back? Are you holding people to expectations and standards to which God wouldn’t hold them? Don’t do that! Your homework assignment today: Communicate however you need to and ask forgiveness of the person you have “spoken evil of”. Does someone tend to tell you all the bad about other people? Tell them to stop! Don’t engage in that kind of behavior. It’s not good for anyone.

12 thoughts on “James- Day 51

  1. Mafalda Delienne

    I have talked bad about someone behind there back but I don’t do it anymore it was like a long time ago I didn’t like her and I thought that like she was bad and stuff for what she did but then I forgave her and now we are kinda sorta friends now talking behind someone’s back is really mean and can hurt to the other person I always say if you can’t say it too my face don’t say it at all.

  2. Tristian Lechien

    I this verse James is saying… “Speak not evil one of another, brethren” this means that don’t talk bad about other people. And yes I have. I have talked bad bout her cuz she talked bad bout me. But I shouldnt have ever stooped to her level. But this happened a long time ago and I’m on the road to trying to forgive her. And I know I need to it’s important. Well great Devo today as always and c u guys Wednesday!!!! 🙂 bye love u!! 🙂

    Prat request::: 1) wish me luck on my first day back to school! 🙂 hope it goes well! 🙂
    2) my great grand mother – not doing well, and we might drive up their to c her soon.
    3) Ezra- salvation
    4) parents- going through a lot right now.

  3. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it happened AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!

    im gonna try this one more time and if it doesn’t post im gonna flip out!! in 5th grd.i talked about these girls and they talked about me.i forgave them and i hope they forgave me.i feel sooooo bad cause 2 wrongs don’t make a right.since no one likes getting talked about behind their back,don’t do it.i like what mafalda said if u can’t say it 2 my face don’t say it at all.what i think this means is that if u can’t say it to me let it go.i think a way 2 help w/ this is the golden rule.”do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”if u don’t want anybody talking about u don’t talk about them.i know im guilty of this and i bet everyone else is 2.

    BTW Pastor Ben,i didn’t hv another weird dream about u!! hehehehehe just thinking about u guys.u all mean the world 2 me.just know ing hv the greatest leaders who love me and really care about my realationship with God!! also knowing i hv the most amazing guys & girls around me and r always there for each other.it brings tears 2 my eyes thinking about u guys and how much u mean 2 me!! loveu al sosososososososososososososososo much!!!! see u guys soon!!! ❤

    1. grace

      i love you allie 🙂 it’s great to know how much we mean to you. mustache lady…you’re really freaking me out 😉

      Good job doing your devotions everyday!

      1. oh great…. now everyone knows im a “mustache lady” (im really not hehe) thanks for letting it out grace!! 🙂 hehehe btw,ur REALLY freaking me out!! 😉

  4. Blake via

    What I got out of this is that when we see other Christians do something wronge we tend to say stuff like did you here what (BLANK) said and what we don’t get is that we just broke God’s law when we say bad stuff about others we think where good people like oh I din’t do what ever it was that this person did so i’m better then him but the truth is we are breaking God’s law to.

  5. Alexis

    Honestly, I do this a lot! And it’s not good at all! Sometimes we gossip without even realizing it, which kinda means we’re in the habit of speaking evil all the time. But how would you feel if someone was gossiping about you behind your back? Not very good, it hurts. I know for me sometimes I get caught up in it then I’ll think “Wow, I really shouldn’t be doing this.” But then sometimes I don’t realize I’m doing something wrong! So this is something I really need to work on!
    And I think vs 12 is really cool! Sometimes we do hold people to standards that aren’t even a part of God’s law. But even if they are a part of God’s law, I have a tendency to judge people on their relationship with God and stuff like that. I don’t even know why, maybe just sin nature. I have gotten better with this though. I used to do it all the time, especially with one of my close friends. But now I know that it’s totally wrong!

  6. grace

    This is one of the hardest things to not do. Sometimes I do this without even realizing. I’ll just get mad at something someone did and then badmouth them to someone else. Instead of doing that, I should probably just take it up with the person that made me mad. This devotion is a good reminder because, like I already said, sometimes we do it without even realizing it. It’s not a very good habit and this definitely goes along with the little saying “Treat others how you want to be treated” Not really sure if that quote’s in the Bible, but if not it’s a good quote to live by. Anyways, my point was…you should treat others how you want to be treated. It’s easy to badmouth others, but when it’s you…it hurts! So, think of others when you say something bad about them. What if they were saying something about you? It wouldn’t feel so great.

    Can’t wait to see you guys on Wednesday! 🙂

  7. I definitley have talked about people behind their back. I think we all have. Theres been times where we’ve been annoyed or mad at someone and told someone.. I have and its been recently 😦 ive been going thru something in school thats really been affecting me lately & the only way i feel better is by talking about it with people who have been in the situation, not gossiping. But sometimes i get upset & if a good friends there i tell them whats going on, which is gossiping :/ so it all depends on how God would see it as. I pray and pray and pray.. And i feel like God’s been helping me with the whole gossiping/talking behind peoples backs. Ive been learning to be more loving to more people besides my normal group of friends, and tellin my friends to stop letting drama rule their lives & to stop talking about others to me. I know its just trouble when i hear it! James is so smart haha i love this book of the bible 🙂

  8. Some of you mentioned that we can talk bad about others without even realizing it and I agree it happens, but we shouldn’t make it a habit, because it’s a hard one to break! It’s so hard no to do it, but it’s so hurtful when it’s done back to us. I have experienced both ways before and both of them suck either way. Sometimes we can get caught up in a situation and instead of taking it to God, we take it to the nearest person and word vomit. James was telling us to be careful of others reputations. Like telling rumors, that is not cool at alll. Other people’s business is theirs and it’s their place to say something, not for accusations to arise. I see this happen everyday and it kills me.. I catch myself gossiping and i’m like ah why did I just say that! Once the words fly out they can’t be taken out. That’s why it’s so crucial to be careful with what we say! This is so important and something I think we all need work on!

  9. Ryan Via

    It can be easy to say bad things about people especially when they do wrong, but we need to not be so critical and try to help them. It can be easier to tear people down instead of lifting them up. So something I need to work on is lifting people up and try to help them instead of beating them up.

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