Our Scripture text for today is:
James 4:11 Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
Continuing on the theme of speaking against one’s neighbor, James expands that somewhat to include that nasty habit of judging one’s neighbor… The two, unfortunately, usually go together!
But we need to be careful we don’t misunderstand these (and other) verses in the scripture that have to do with not judging our neighbor. Many people take this to mean that there is NO judgement and that “anything goes”… This is NOT the case, as these verses in the same breath take great pains to remind us that indeed there IS a judge, and that judge is God! And so when the church preaches on moral and ethical issues to the world (and to individuals) it does so on the basis of GOD’S JUDGEMENTS, not our own! The PROBLEM for Christians is that we like to judge others on the basis of our own made up “laws” that we have in our mind, not actually and ONLY the law of Christ! We like to judge our neighbor because his dog or children misbehave or he looks funny or different or… WHATEVER… This is evil because it makes US into the lawgiver and judge – an office that only God can occupy!
Pray, pray, pray, that we can keep our tongue and mind in check when it comes to slandering and judging our neighbor!