Judge Not

Judge Not

In a Christian family it is not only the children who must abide by the law of God but the parents must as well, even though they are the ones who exercise discipline. We are all sinners in need of grace. None of us occupies the high moral ground. Any judgment on our part must be rendered with humility, in full knowledge that we stand only by the grace of the One who is able to save and to destroy (Jas. 4:12). 

There is only one lawgiver and judge. (James 4:12, ESV)

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” James tells us how to avoid sabotaging that noble goal. “Do not speak evil against one another, brothers” (Jas. 4:11).

Speaking evil can be toxic to a relationship, introducing a pollutant that can poison the waters and be difficult to clean up, and even once cleaned up can leave traces that might never be purged. We might think in terms of slander or berating another.

James describes this evil-speak as emanating from someone who has assumed the position of a judge. Jesus also addressed the matter in the Sermon on the Mount when He said, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matt. 7:1).

How many times have we heard people excuse and enable wrong behavior by saying that the Bible tells us not to judge? But the Bible doesn’t say that. In fact, we are enjoined to judge (1 Cor. 5:12), including providing a kingdom assessment of the righteousness or unrighteousness of actions (Mt. 18:15-20).

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