James 4:11-12 (TPT)
11 Dear friends, as part of God’s family, never speak against another family member, for when you slander a brother or sister you violate [slander] God’s law of love. And your duty is not to make yourself a judge of the law of love by saying that it doesn’t apply to you, but your duty is to obey it! [personal responsibility to the law] 12 There is only one true Lawgiver and Judge, the One who has the power to save and destroy—so who do you think you are to judge your neighbor?
Did you know engaging in slander (false information and character assassination) against another believer is violating God’s law? In our passage today, James reminds God’s children engaging in slander is not the way we are to live; to partake in such behavior is to set oneself up as a judge of his or her neighbor. Remember, Jesus summed the law up when he declared to his disciples the greatest commandments, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and your neighbor as yourself” (Mat 22:37-38). So, when we judge and slander someone else—especially those who claim to have a relationship with God—we stand guilty of having sinned against that person, as well as violating God’s greatest commandments.
Slander, condemnation, and hatred is at the foundation of the world’s system until Satan is destroyed and Jesus comes to rule his creation. Don’t miss it, Satan forms the words of those who slander and condemn others; he is the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10). Slander is cruel, motivated by self-exalting pride, and drips of self-righteous judgment for the sake of attaining influence and power. I would just love to send all of the politicians and leaders who are supposed to be representing the American people, as well as all media networks who are supposed to report the facts without bias, a truckload of duct tape to cover their mouths—the masks are not working as an effective filter—because I am grieved by the sin causing them to use their positions to slander others rather than cast a vision for our nation. I want to hear policy goals and fresh and righteous ideas that honor God’s authority while loving our neighbors, ensuring our country’s security, upholding our constitution, supporting the rule of law, as well as extending liberty and justice for all NOT slander. As we wait for Christ’s return, please don’t allow Satan to put slander in your mouth. Speak about others the way you would want them to speak about you; love and honor them the way you want to be loved and honored. This is every believer’s duty.
Prayer: Lord, no matter how ugly people’s words may become, please do not allow me to become desensitized to how that grieves you. Please keep a watch over my tongue, as well as my attitudes, because I do not want to sin against your commands of love nor my neighbor. In Jesus’ name. Amen.