Summary: Three Negitive Outcomes of Judging Others and Three Reasons to Stop Judging Others.
Judging Others? Stop It!
Today we are going to have another “How To” sermon. Remember I have said that James is a very practical book – perhaps the most practical book in the Bible. He tells us “How to live the Christian life.” He tells us “How to Reach For Christian Maturity.” Today we are going to look at: “How to Stop Judging Others”. James doesn’t beat around the bush when he discusses judging other people – he gets right to the point. Follow along with me as I read from James chapter four.
“Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of 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, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?” James 4:11-12 (NKJV)
James tells us right up front not to speak evil of one another – because by speaking evil of one another – we judge one another. Anytime I judge you – any time you judge me – you and I have stepped over the line – because we start playing God. It’s only God’s responsibility to judge people – not yours or mine.
Now let me tell you right up front – that it is my job – as a minister of the gospel to speak out against sin. I need to call evil – evil. I need to call sin – sin. I should not sugar coat it. I should not hide it. I should not say it’s O.K. But I always need to remember – that all of us have sinned and fall short of God’s glory – and that includes me. Allow me to proclaim sin as sin – but I pray to God that I would never talk about sin in a judgmental way. Whenever someone has sinned – it should grieve us. We should weep over the sin in our lives. When someone has stepped across the line and offended me or you – God gives us clear guidance as how to handle it. We are to go to them in private and discuss the matter in private with gentleness and love – not with a judgmental spirit. There should be no finger pointing going on. Let’s look at:
Why You and I Should Not Judge Others
The Bible gives us three reasons why we should not judge one another.
1. It is UNCHRISTIAN
Let’s read James chapter four and verse eleven again:
“Do not say evil against one another, my brothers. He who says evil against his brother or makes himself his brother’s judge, says evil against the law and is judging the law.” James 4:11 (BBE)
Notice how many times the word brother or a form of brother is used in this verse. Three times! Why? Because we should not speak evil of another Christian – because we are part of the same family. We’re brothers – we’re relatives. We have the same Father. “Our Father – who art in heaven.” We have the same Savior – Jesus Christ our Lord. We have the same Holy Spirit living and dwelling in us. We have been saved by the same blood – the blood of Christ. That is why Paul can say:
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4:4-5 (NKJV)
We are family – and family should not speak evil against one another. It’s not a Christian’s job to go around speaking evil of other Christians – in fact it is the devil’s business to speak against God and His family. The devil is the Father of Lies and he is the one who loves to speak evil of God’s children. The devil loves to “bad talk” God and His family. When we speak evil against a fellow Christian – we’re doing the devils work. That’s what the devil’s job description is. In the book of Revelation the Bible says, the devil is the “accuser of the brothers”. It is unchristian to judge other Christians. That is not what we should be doing. The second reason we should not speak evil against one another is:
2. It is UNLOVING
Do you remember what Jesus said the Greatest Commandment was? It is found in Matthew chapter twenty two:
’YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ "This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ’YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ Matthew 22:37-39 (NASV)