Summary of passage: James says not to slander one another for this is in essence slandering the law and judging it. There is only one Lawgiver (God) and Judge (God and Christ). Who are we to judge?
James blasts those who make plans without God. For our life is a mist that vanishes after a while and we do not know what tomorrow will bring. We must ask first if it is the Lord’s will, then we will do this or that. Otherwise, you are boasting, which is evil. Anyone who knows the good and doesn’t do it sins.
11) Everyone is open for criticism especially if you are in the public eye. When I wrote my column, it somehow became okay to attack me personally (and my family). And anonymously. I love the Internet. But not everything about it is positive. We all need constructive criticism so we can become better people. But when it turns personal and is given without a loving heart, I think this is when this Scripture applies. Then we have crossed the line into judgment and Christ’s realm.
As Paul keeps repeating, we are not to speak unless it is encouraging and uplifting, not to tear down and hurt. We must tame our tongue as James says in James 3. I think this coincides with these warnings.
I tell my kids, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say it at all.” Exactly what this scripture says.
12) Leviticus 19:16: ”Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord.”
13a) Boasting, bragging, pride, not relying on the Lord but relying on yourself
b) If it is and aligns with God’s will.
c) Personal Question. My answer: We must rely on God for everything. We do nothing on our own. Before making plans, I need to pray first and make sure it is in accordance with God’s will for my life and not my will.
Conclusions: Another good lesson that aligns with a common theme in this study: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say it at all, especially slander or speech with malicious intent. We are too free sometimes in this society to say what we want without thinking of the consequences to others. Guard our tongue as James say and speak only uplifting words.
I liked James question, “What is your life?” (verse 14) I think sometimes we do get prideful when in reality we are an ant compared to God. God can snuff us out with one step of His foot. Good thing to keep in mind when we are tending towards arrogance and need to turn back towards humility.
I loved the last verse. I apply this to our purpose (which is always good since it’s from God). If you are not doing it, you are sinning. Also, this verse speaks to doing what is right versus ignoring the situation. I think of how many videos or exposes we see recently where people walk by someone in need (apparently this is human nature since it happened to the Good Samaritan as well millenia ago). We must do the right thing no matter the cost to ourselves.