Are You an Encourager?
If someone were to say you’re an encourager or a criticizer, which would it be? What would people say if asked about how you talk about your boss or coworker? What about your neighbor? What about that guy online who’s in a different political party? What would they say then?
It’s easy to speak kindly about those we like, but not so much for those we disagree with. Listen to what James says about our talk in James 4.
“Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” (James 4:11-12).
James is not talking about confronting a fellow Christian who is sinning. What James is calling out is the derogatory criticism of others regardless of belief system, lifestyle choice, or political party. We can disagree, and rightfully should, but we are not to defame and be critical of others. That doesn’t help anyone. When being critical of others, especially other believers, you’re acting out of place. You’re not God.
We’d all do better to be good stewards of the gospel to every person we meet. Who will you share it with today? Maybe, begin with yourself.
Text in Context: Read James 4:1-16
Reflect: Where does this fighting come from? How is James’ prescription an effective cure? How do our actions in the world relate to our submission to God?
Respond: How do you usually respond to the hardships and quarreling around you? How is the world trying to pull you away from God’s prescription for better living?
Prayer: Father, help me to use my words to build up and not tear down. Help me to lovingly help those who are struggling with sin while being open to the help of others in my own life. Amen.