James 4:11-12 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? (NIV)
1. WHEN IS IT RIGHT TO JUDGE ANOTHER?
A. There are some times in which the Bible says we are required to make judgment calls about others.
Matthew 7:15-16a Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them.
B. What is right judging?
1. The Bible has instructed us to judge what is Truth from what is Error.
Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
2. The Bible has instructed us to judge what is moral according to the Bible from what is not moral.
a. There are moral absolutes. I can’t decide what they are, and neither can you. But God can and He has revealed them to us in His Word.
b. We are all flawed. We all need to improve. So, when others mess up around us, as Christ followers, we need to treat every person respectfully, no matter what. What we don’t have the right to do is call right, what God calls wrong or to call wrong, what God calls right.
2. WHEN IS IT WRONG TO JUDGE ANOTHER?
To have a judgmental spirit means to make an evaluation upon the character and motives of another without sufficient evidence, and with disregard for one’s own failures.
A. Responding in a self-righteous spirit.
1. Luke 18:9-14 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other menrobbers, evildoers, adulterers or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
2. Gossiping about them is judging. Helping them is loving.
B. Trying to make others accountable to my personalconvictions.
C. Habitually being critical toward another person or others.
D. Deciding someone else’s motives.
E. Thinking more about others’ faults than my own.
Matthew 7:3-5a Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
3. WHAT IS WRONG WITH JUDGING OTHERS?
A. Judging others is unchristian.
James 4:11 Brothers, do not slander one another.
B. It’s unloving.
James 4:11 He who speaks against a brother, or judges his brother, speaks against the law, and judges the law…
C. It’s unjustified.
James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?
James 2:13 …judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment! (NIV)
John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of Grace and Truth. (NIV)