“There is only one lawgiver and Judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:12
If we are not careful we will put ourselves in a position of judge over someone else. My friends this is a very dangerous position to be in. If we are living under the grace and mercy of Jesus, it is our responsibility to treat others with grace and mercy as well. Believe me I know this is a very hard thing to do at times. But it is a command from scripture, we have no other choice.
“Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.” Romans 2:1-2
Now we immediately may think we aren’t judging others or maybe we are only judging those who are doing really bad things so we are ok because we aren’t doing the “really bad things”. But that is not what scripture is saying. It says we have no right to pass judgment on others. There is only one God and one Judge and we can’t explore this lesson on who God is as Judge over creation without exploring the idea that we are not.
I’m going to tell a little story. Years ago when I was a young mama who stayed home with my kids I was working VBS at my church. I knew another mom who had also been a stay at home mom with me who was dropping her kids off every day at VBS. I heard a couple of other women talking about how angry and irritated they were that this other stay at home mom was not working like the rest of us were. What these women did not know is that this mom who was dropping her kids off was going through a very heartbreaking situation at home and this particular year she needed the time where she knew her kids were being taken care of as much as she wanted her kids to learn about Jesus. Her life and world was falling apart as she knew it and she had things she needed to take care of. The point is this, we never know what is going on in another persons world or another persons mind when they are doing the things that they are doing. Our job is not to judge them, that belongs with the Lord because He is the one with the power to save them. Our job is to love them.
“For with the judgement you pronounce you will be judged. And with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:2
I remember finding this verse years ago and all I could think was OUCH! I know that I truly do not want God to use the measuring stick with which I have judged others at times to judge me. But I can say learning this verse was beneficial for me as it comes to mind when I fall into my old human ways of doing that very thing. What we need to remember is to extend grace, extend mercy because we do not know the battles someone else may be fighting.
“For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:13
Oh sweet Lord, help us to remember this verse, help us to write it on our hearts and to show mercy to others. The same mercy we pray will be shown to us.