The sin 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
Pride is not a new thing. It began even before this world was created. It first appeared in the heart of Lucifer. “‘How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world. For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.’ ‘Instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead, down to its lowest depths’” (Isaiah 14:12–15). Lucifer’s pride led him to be cast out of heaven and becoming Satan, the adversary of God and of the people of God. From that sad beginning so long ago, pride has roared through human history. It has never gone out of existence. James could see it in his readers. He wrote the words of our text in order to warn the readers and us about the manifestations of pride. James says that it is manifested when we “speak evil against each other.” This is done when it is easy for us to find fault, speak disparagingly, and to speak unkindly about one another. How sad this is when we are turning to one another. We have a tendency to dismiss it as a minor thing but the fact that James mentioned about this, we should not ignore this for it is destructive. James says, our “job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you.” God had set the law for us to abide by it and when we violate it by looking down on others, we put ourselves above the law and in turn saying to God who had given the law that that we are better than Him. Now that is pride! Let us not forget that He is the one who has the power both to save and to destroy (James 4:12). And thank God, He has the power to save! Where would we be without God? Where are we heading when He is not the Lord of our life? Let us be reminded that we will give an account for the things we say. “And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you” (Matthew 12:36-37). How many of God’s blessings have we deprived ourselves and others because we spoke evil? How many friendships have been destroyed? How many people have been driven away from fellowship? How many opportunities to witness for the gospel have been lost? How many youths and children have been driven into discouragement and disillusionment? Is this the price we are willing to pay just because we ignore the impact of the words we say? We need to be aware of our selfish motives for they are dangerous to our spiritual health. We need to ask God to help us examine our lives by humbling ourselves before Him.