Who Do You Think You Are?

James 4:11-12 (NIV)
 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them 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?
If you want to take the place of God, judge your brothers and sisters in the church.  When we make judgments about our brothers and sisters, we are trying to take God’s place as the Lawgiver and Judge (vs. 12).  That’s too big of a job for humans!  We cannot possibly sit in God’s judgment seat!  When we speak against one another (gossip, slander, judge), we are, in effect, taking God’s place.  
The judgement to which James is referring is with regard to the Law.  In other words, I judge my brothers and sisters by how well I think they are obeying God.  Rather than judging our neighbors, what does Jesus say?  We are to LOVE our neighbors with an unconditional love.  We love them no matter how well we think they are doing.  If you have an issue with a brother in Christ, don’t talk about him behind his back.  Talk to the Father about him.  If you are tempted to judge your sister in Christ and slander her, don’t talk to everyone else about her.  Talk to her.  We are not to show partiality or favoritism.  We are not to judge, slander and gossip.  If we see someone in error according to the Scriptures, we are encouraged to make a right judgment.  We can judge someone’s behavior (provided we have all the facts) and hold them accountable as we should expect them to do for us.  We are not out to condemn anyone, but rather we need to be concerned for one another out of genuine brotherly love.

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