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Toxic Tongues


James 4:11-12

Verse 11a Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another.


After reminding us that we are not worthy of god status James takes the opportunity to remind us of the necessary relationship with fellow believers.


Getting along with others isn’t always easy for us. Sadly this isn’t any less true within the church. Although Jesus said that it would be our love for one another that would show the world that we are His followers (John 13:35), we don’t often think it is that important. Worse than that we tend to speak up about those we don’t like.


One of the reasons this is true is that we are still stuck in thinking about ourselves as better than we are. We stop thinking about how we are wronging the God of creation and focus instead on who we think are wronging us. We start thinking that we are the ones that should be thought of as the best. If we didn’t think this, then we would not feel slighted so often.


It is when we put expectations on others that they tend to fail us. So it is when we expect others to treat us a certain way that we see they are different than we are. This is when we get frustrated because we think others should see things our way. The problem is that we see things based on our past and upbringing and sometimes that is very different from those around us.


The problem that plagues the Church is that we are so willing to talk down to and about other believers. We don’t like it when others talk about us but we don’t talk kindly about others all the time either. It is natural to have some people that we get along better with than others but that gives us no reason to be unkind or unloving.


Remember, James wasn’t given to unnecessary words and so the fact that he brings up the point of slander shows that he knows there was such speech going on among the believers. James knew the danger of this speech to the reputation of the followers of Jesus. This is a danger we should pay attention to as well.


Making It Personal

Have you ever been the object of slander? Have you ever been the spreader of slander against someone? How does this slander hurt the Church?


Making It Personal Kids

Has anyone ever told a lie about you? How did it make you feel? Have you ever said something mean about someone? How does Jesus feel about what you said about them?


Closing Prayer

Father, we are convicted of the times that we have said evil things about fellow believers. Forgive us for the hurt that we have done to the Church. Help us love each other as You desire us to. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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