Gossip, Slander and Sinful Judging
November 22, 2020
James 4:11–12  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.  There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? (ESV)
I. Don’t Do It
II. Why Shouldn’t I
“Gossip is the spreading of unfavorable information about someone else, even if that information is true.” – Jerry Bridges
“To gossip means to reveal or discuss personal facts about another person for no legitimate purpose; it often betrays a confidence.” – Ken Sande
Slander “involves speaking false and malicious words about another person” – Ken Sande
“Slander is making a false statement or misrepresentation about another person that defines or damages that person’s reputation.” — Jerry Bridges
“…do Christians slander? Yes, we do. We slander when we ascribe wrong motives to people, even though we can’t see their hearts or know their particular circumstances. We slander when we say another believer is “not committed” when he or she does not practice the same spiritual disciplines we do or engage in the same Christian activities we engage in. We slander when we misrepresent another person’s position on a subject without first determining what that person’s position is. We slander when we blow out of proportion another person’s sin and make that person to be more sinful that he or she really is.” – Jerry Bridges
“Hey friend, sorry to interrupt, but this is gossip. So here’s the deal. This conversation is now on hold until you go get _____________, and then you can start over and say whatever you feel you must say right to his face. I am willing to be a witness to that conversation, but I will not participate in gossip. What do you choose to do?” – Ray Orland Jr.
Questions For Discussion/Application:
- Re-read the text, James 4:11-12. What initial observations and insights do you have from reading this text?
- Read quotes from Sermon Recap on gossip and slander.
- What are the dangers of gossip and slander?
- In what subtle ways do you think we as Christians gossip and slander that we don’t always discern?
- The point was made that we sin in the areas of gossip and slander when we passively listen to it and don’t stop it. When we hear someone beginning to walk down a path of gossip/slander in their speech, how can we help them to not do so?
- Husbands and wives can at times be guilty of gossipping about about others in their conversations with one another. In marriage, how can we help one another to be more godly in our speech?
- What is a sinful judgment? How can we be tempted at times, to sinfully judge others?
- If we are finding ourselves very tempted to sinfully judge another person, what should we do? How can we approach a conversation with the person we are tempted to sinfullly judge in a loving, constructive and helpful way?
- In what ways do you want to grow as the result of this text/sermon?
- Take time to pray that God would help us bring Him grater glory in the area of our speech.