Keep watch over the door of
(Arthur Pink, "Evil Speaking" 1935)
"Do not speak evil against each other, brethren." James 4:11
That which is here forbidden, is the saying of anything, be it true or false, to the harm of another. God requires that our words should be governed by "the law of kindness" (Proverbs 31:26), and anything which would hurt or injure the reputation of another, is to be rigidly shunned. Whenever I cannot speak well of my brother or sister, I must say nothing at all. To speak evil of others, proceeds from ill will or malice—desiring that they should be made odious in the esteem of others.
It is devilish to take delight in exposing the faults of fellow-Christians, and stirring up prejudice and bitter feelings against them (Rev. 12:10). God requires that our words should agree with love—as well as with truth. Since Christians are brethren, the last thing they should be guilty of is defaming one another!
Except where the glory of God plainly requires it, and the good of that person demands it—we must refrain from all evil speaking of others. If we are duly occupied with and humbled over our own many faults—we shall have neither time nor inclination to dwell upon or publish those of others! If we properly heed the exhortation of Philippians 4:8, we shall cultivate the habit of admiring the graces in our brethren—instead of being like filthy flies, settling on their sores!
Well may we pray, "Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord! Keep watch over the door of my lips!" Psalm 141:3