James 4:11-12: “11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 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?”
Slander means to charge falsely with malicious intent, to attack the good name and reputation of another.
If we are not the lawgiver, who is?
Isaiah 33:22 answers, “For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is he who will save us.”
Christ sits on the Judgment Seat, and there is only room for Him.
Romans 14:10-“You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.”
2 Corinthians 5:10- “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”
This includes what we say. To think our speech will determine some of our reward in heaven, does that excite or scare you?
Romans 14:12-“ So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.”
We won’t give an account for what others do, but what we do and say.
In judging others, we act in God’s stead, and therefore exceptional care and restraint must be observed. God does not take it lightly when His name and honor are invoked inappropriately.
Since only God is omniscient, only He knows all about everyone; we don’t have all the insight and should be more humble than we are.
If you see a fault in a brother or sister, speak to them, not of them.
There needs to be an honest and healthy discussion among believers, even if that results in some awkward conversations.
What are we to do about judging? Three things:
1. God alone has the right to judge. He is the lawgiver, the author of justice and righteousness.
2. God, at times, delegates that responsibility. He delegated it to Jesus (John 5:22), and in certain functions, He entrusts it to us. When exercising this role, however, we serve not as our own agents but as the representatives of God. In some areas, we are commanded to judge, such as spiritual discernment (test the spirits). But in all such areas, we are to judge not in accordance with our own rules, or even according to personal convictions, but only in concert with the standards of God (HIS WORD). This is the only true template.
3. Realize that we often judge inappropriately. When we use slander, misinform for an ulterior motive, or seek what appears to be “the good,” we are doing more than sinning against our neighbor. We are breaking trust with God, and in so doing, we are judging ourselves. We demonstrate our lack of understanding of God our Father, and we place ourselves in jeopardy.
Some questions to consider:
-Where have you tried to act as a judge?
-Why is it important to recognize God’s position as lawgiver when it comes to slander?
-Where do you need to repent in regards to judging and slander?