Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters. Whoever speaks evil against another or judges another, 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 one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. So who, then, are you to judge your neighbor? (James 4:7-12, NRSV)
I read this passage and what immediately came to mind was the phrase, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
Because James says to not speak evil against each other. To draw near to God and to not be judged or evil.
And that is what our moms meant by “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
So remember what your momma said…