Our place is not to judge
July 1, 2013
By Pastor Orval Wirkkala, Apostolic Lutheran Church, Kingston

“Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?” (James 4:11-12)

In what ways do we judge one another?

1. Telling an outright lie about another that harms their reputation in the eyes of others.

KJV Proverbs 10:18: “He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.”

2. Making a judgment in our own mind of a matter before hearing of the whole matter.

KJV Proverbs 18:17: “He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.”

3. Passing along an evil report about someone which we know is true, but there is no good purpose to pass it on.

KJV Proverbs 17:9: “He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.”

4. Assigning of evil motives to a person’s actions when we are merely surmising.

KJV 1 Timothy 6:4: “He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings. . .

5. Drawing negative conclusions and sharing our conclusions with others when we do not have all the facts.

KJV Proverbs 18:13: “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.”

When we speak evil of one another, we assume the place of the Giver of the law, rather than being under the law of the Spirit of life, that which leads and empowers us to honor and obey the counsel of the Word of God in all matters of life.

KJV James 2:13: “For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.”

We should ask ourselves these questions in order to avoid entering into judgment:

1. Is what I heard true?

2. Have I heard the whole matter?

3. Is it necessary to repeat it?

4. Am I assuming something to be true without facts?

5. Am I repeating a matter based on my assumptions without facts?

May we be sensitive to the Spirit of the Lord as we consider the importance of loving one another in word and in deed. God bless each one of us in our meditations in His Word.

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