I have been impressed by this verse this week:
Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. James 4:11
By nature and by enemy design I am often tempted to pass judgment on others and their conduct. I am tempted to comment on the words and actions of other men. Often when asked about teachings from Scripture, I am at the same time drawn to speak about the men who hold such views. I am tested in emails and social media to offer my assessment of others.
I ask for pure lips that will be slow to speak and quick to listen, I pray for a spirit that will seek to place the best possible construction on events and will seek fervently to make sure I have understand another man's thoughts before I would assess their merit. I pray that I not misrepresent another and or warp or twist the truth to present others in a less favourable light in comparison to myself. How easy it is to paint a picture in my favour and at the expense of others, however slight.
When I have problems with others Father, let me speak to you alone and see if I have not rather come to a hasty conclusion before I would dare send out unfavourable reports of others. May I guard the reputations of my friends and defend them as best I can. May I pray for every person that comes up in conversation and plead the blood of Christ in their behalf, may I always desire their best good and remember they have been forgiven of their sins even as I have if they take the name of Christ.
Let your love for others flow from my lips and let my inclination to press men under my condemnation itself be pressed under my feet and consumed in the fire of God's grace. Not excusing sin, nor ignoring falsehood yet always seeking the best and the good and encouraging all men to find joy in Christ.