11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or
judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you
are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 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 4:11-12).
There are many different roles that people play in our lives. Our teachers teach. Our police
officers try to keep us safe from harm. Our government officials make laws to help society run
smoothly. There are many different roles for people in our world and for that we should be
But one role that no one has in our world is the role of ultimate judge. That role is God’s
alone. God is the only one who can make a final verdict about people’s eternal destiny. That’s
not our job.
In our verse for today, James is communicating that we need to be careful that we don’t
try and play the role of God in reference to other people. We are tempted to think that we know
people’s hearts and we can evaluate what is right for them in any situation. This is wrong and
presumptuous. Only God has all the information. Only God knows all situations perfectly.
Only God can make perfect judgments in reference to people.
Our job is not to speak evil against people and assume we know who is destined for hell
and who is destined for heaven. Only God knows that perfectly. But what we do know is that he
has called us to love. His great love for us should flow through us to all people. This is the
opposite of speaking evil of people which James mentions in our verses for today. Our primary
role is to love. We don’t have the authority to be the ultimate judge. That is reserved for God
Read Matthew 7:1-5
• Whose sin should we be most preoccupied with, ours or the sins of others?
• How can we seek to be less judgmental and move loving?
• Who is someone in your life you are tempted to judge, but should be loving instead?
Our Father, thank you for the grace you have showered on us in Jesus. May our primary
disposition towards people be love and not judgment. We know that if your primary disposition
towards us was judgment we would be without hope. But you love to show your glory through
mercy. May you empower us to do the same. May people see your glory through the mercy that
we show. In Jesus’ name, Amen.