“Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother…” - James 4:11
Have you ever noticed the power of words? I don’t know about you but I LOVE getting cards and texts of encouragement. However, there is nothing that compares to someone audibly speaking words of encouragement. Words have power. The writer of Proverbs understood this when he wrote, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov. 15:1).
Words carry weight and within the family of God, they have amazing potential for good and for harm. Here in this verse we find James encouraging the church in Jerusalem to not speak against each other. Why? What if someone “deserves” to spoken against? What if that person hurt me? These are valid questions however, if we belong to the family, there is a bigger question: “How can I best serve our brothers and sisters?” A watching world takes notice of Christians speaking against one another. A watching world takes notice when we build each other up.
Practical Application: As you go throughout your day today, watch your words. Within the body of Christ, be careful how you speak. We are all forgiven sinners who are on a journey. Let your words build up, not tear down!