Do I speak against others?


We read James 4:11-12 with a questioning mindset to slow down and really see what God is saying.


We want to plunge in and examine these 2 mighty verses about speaking against one another’.

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Let’s Pray

Oh Lord,  we hunger for Your Word of Truth and do desire to understand it in order to live it and know the fullness of blessing and bring You honor in Your Son’s name. Thank you.


LOOK at What God Says

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READ God’s Word

Read James 4:11-12 again.

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What does James say not to do?


What does James contrast to make his point?


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Listen Up!

Let’s concentrate on verse 11.

Here we go again!

James is coming back around to the tongue.

Speaking against another has everything to do with our tongue.


So obviously there must have been a problem, or James wouldn’t have to say, ‘do not do this’!

Do you remember what we LEARNED about the tongue?

What does it have the power to do?

What did James tell us about the fountain?

Go back in to Chapter 3 and review!


Let’s unlock the 1st part of verse 11. 

11  “Do not speak against one another, brethren.” NASB

11  “Speak not evil one of another, brethren.” KJ


Unlock the Meaning

GODcha suggests we look at ‘speak against’ that is key.

Understand God’s Words

Check Out the Meaning

Dictionary Tutorial >

Speak againstkatalaléō; to slander, to speak evil of, (1Pe 2:12; 3:16). Forbidden for Christians (Jas 4:11). Backbiting, defamation; to blaspheme, revile; to falsely accuse.


Grammar ‘do not‘ is the Present Imperative Active (pim).

Present is to be continuous/ongoing;

Imperative is a command; and

Active means the subject performs the action.


Think about these words in the definition?

What does slander mean?

What about backbiting?

And blaspheme?

And revile? Do you remember Jesus was reviled, but reviled not? 

What can you discover from a Word Search?


TIP: Take the meaning back to the text.

11  Do not speak against (slander, backbite, blaspheme, revile – wounding someone’s reputation by evil reports, evil anotherbrethren.



Am I guilty of speaking against another person, especially in the church? 

Do I slander, defame, others?

Am I a backbiter, a reviler?

Have I been on the receiving end of others speaking evil of me; slanderous lies? What did I do?

Respond to God…LIVE it out!


Think About Context

James just admonished the church about conflicts and humility.

Wouldn’t ‘speaking against another’ in the church cause conflicts?

I’ve had to think, what would be at the root of speaking against one another?

Would it be the arrogance and pride James warned us about? Hate, envy, and jealousy?

Do you remember God is opposed to the proud?


Let Truth Explain Truth About

Speaking Against One Another 

1. What does God command in Exodus?

Exo 23:1

“You shall not bear a false report; do not join your hand with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.” (Exo 23:1)



Am I guilty of speaking a false report about someone, not knowing all the facts? 

Have I joined others by being a malicious witness?


2. Why this command? What does God hate?

Pro 6:16-19

Do you remember we saw earlier that God hates 7 things and 3 have to do with how we speak.

a lying tongue, false witness, one who spreads strife. (Pro 6:16-19)


3. What is speaking against another associated with?

a.Mat 15:18-19

Jesus associated slander with wicked sins that come from the heart. ( Mat 15:18-19)


b.Mat 12:34, 37

The words you speak reveal your heart. (Mat 12:34, 37)

We see: Our tongue and our words reveal a wicked heart.

Understand: Our words really do reveal if we have genuine faith.



What is my heart?

What are my words about others?

What do my words about others reveal about my heart?


4. Who speaks against a brother?

a. Psa 50:16-23

“But to the wicked. . .You let your mouth loose in evil And your tongue frames deceitYou sit and speak against your brother;  You slander your own mother’s son.” (Psa 50:16-23)



Am I wicked? Why?

Do I speak evil and deceit about others?

Am I guilty of speaking against those in my own family?

Respond to God…LIVE it out!


bPro 10:18

He who conceals hatred has LYING lips, And he who spreads slander is a fool. (Pro 10:18)

We see: it is a fool who slanders.



Am I a fool? A liar, spreading slander?


c. Romans 1:18-32

Describes the ungodly, who are haters of God, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strifedeceitmalice; they are gossips, slanderers. (Rom 1:29-30)



Have I let hatred build up in my heart towards someone that has surfaced in slander?

Why am I willing to spread slander?

Am I ungodly? Do I hate God, full of unrighteousness, deceit, and malice?

Am I a gossip? 

If the above is true, will I repent?

Respond to God…LIVE it out!


5. Where does Jesus say slander comes from?

Joh 8:44

Jesus said to some Jews they were of their father the devil, who was a murderer from the beginning, the father of lies.

Devil means diabolos, slanderer.  (Joh 8:44)

Understand: Slander is of Satan.


6. What will God do?

Psa 101:5

Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy(Psa 101:5)



Do these Words stir my heart and cause a fear of God to rise up?

Respond to God…LIVE it out!


7. What do you understand about those with genuine faith?

a. Eph 4:34-31

Because we are new, in the likeness of God, created in righteousness and holiness of the truth we are not to let any unwholesome word proceed from our mouths, but only words for edification that will give grace to those who hear… We put away all bitterness, wrath, clamor, slander, along with malice. (Eph 4:34-31)

Grammar: The verb ‘put away is Aorist Imperative Middle (aipm).

Aorist tense – is like a snapshot, showing an action occurs.

Imperative mood – usually is a command.

Middle voice – the subject initiates the actions and participates in the action.



Am I new, with a new mouth? 

Is my talk different than before Christ?

What comes forth from my mouth?

Do my Words edify? 

Or, do unwholesome words spill out? 

Respond to God…LIVE it out!


b. Col 3:8-10

Paul said, put them all aside: angerwrathmaliceslander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Because you have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him…(Col 3:8-10)

Again the Grammar: The verb ‘put aside is Aorist Imperative Middle (aipm).

Aorist tense – is like a snapshot, showing an action occurs.

Imperative mood – usually is a command.

Middle voice – the subject initiates the actions and participates in the action.


c. 1Pe 2:1

Peter said, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander… (1Pe 2:1)



If I am new, have I done what Paul and Peter say to do? 

What am I doing to put aside my sins?

Am I submitting to God and the power of the Spirit when it comes to slander?

Or, is my speech abusive with malice and slander?

Respond to God…LIVE it out!


8. What is our speech to be?

Col 4:6

Let your speech always be with graceas though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond.  (Col 4:6)

We see: If we are new, sins are put aside.

We see: If we are new, it is evident in the words we speak.



Is my speech always with grace (God’s divine influence), seasoned with salt, to edify others?

 Respond to God…LIVE it out!


Shall We Call it a Day?

Reflect and meditate on what God taught us about speaking against another brother or sister.

James is writing to a church — some are true believers; some are not.

He wants them to understand their relationship to one another!

He says to those who ‘claim to be believers‘ to stop this sin of slander.

He wants them, and us, to see that this comes from a heart that is filled with pride and jealousy.

Talk to God.

How has the Spirit stirred your heart?

God loves you and desires you, and I, to be obedient to this command.


Save Your Discovery

As we bring this day to a close, journal your discovery and communion with the Lord in your Notes – save them forever!


Turn What We LEARNED into a Prayer 

OH FATHER, we thank you for Your Word that is so razor sharp, and shows us the intents of our hearts, I pray we have heard You today, and see how serious it is to speak against another. Thank you that Your Word gives life and brings us to repentance! As we see this is a deed of the ungodly, of fools, I ask that each one of us would be willing to examine ourselves and confess to You that we are a people with unclean lips, (Isa 6:5). We acknowledge the times we have slandered others, spoken against them, defaming their character, and/or gossiped maliciously. Father, please forgive us. Please cleanse us of our sins. Cleanse us of all unrighteousness, (1Jo 1:9). Because of You Lord Jesus, we have been made new in You! Keep our lips from speaking evil! Instead, may we be ever sensitive to let our words be with grace, to edify, encourage and build others up. Please help our words be seasoned with salt as Paul said. May our words give forth the flavor of Christ, stopping corrupt conversation and preserve pure dialogue. Oh Father, continue to renew our minds, and transform us from the inside out, (Rom 12:1-2). We ask this in Jesus name, for Your glory and our good. Amen!


We are cheering you on!

You are doing great!

A little progress everyday adds up to big results!

Next: we will investigate what it means to ‘speak against the law’.

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