The hollowness of pride
Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor? James 4:11-12 NLT
The presence of pride within will lead to having a critical spirit. It makes us think that we are better than others. We watch and wait for someone to slip up and when it happens, we are elated. James reminds his readers to avoid having critical spirit. This is manifested when we “speak evil against each other.” James wants his readers to not just put this behavior aside and not deal with it seriously. We must confront such attitude within for it will just continue to feed our ego. The Lord Jesus Christ condemns such behavior; “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged” (Matthew 7:1-2). When we speak against one another, we place ourselves as a judge as if we are the ones who gave the law. We have to be reminded that we are all under the authority of God. There is only one who is the Lawgiver and Judge and He alone has “the power to save or destroy” (James 4:12). We cannot set ourselves above God. Thank God, He alone has the power to save us. Where will we be if He did not come to rescue us from the power of sin? But just as true as the saving power of God, He has the authority to destroy. Speaking evil has a high price to pay. We missed God’s blessings when we speak evil. Lives and relationships are destroyed because we spoke evil of others. Who do we think we are when we take God’s position as the Judge? When we become critical and slanderous of someone, we are offending God as well. This admonition from James is given not to prevent us to offer honest evaluation or reproof but to be careful that our actions are prompted by love and concern. Let us commit ourselves that our words will not be used as weapon to hurt others but as instruments promoting love and encouragement.