The reading for today is James 4:11-12.
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. 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?
This message really rings true after reflecting on the crazy events of this past year. I have never experienced a year with so much controversy, divisiveness, and judgement amongst friends. Everywhere I look someone is judging someone for the social choices they have made or their political views. I have seen these issues tear apart relationships. I know we all have tried to navigate all of the unknowns and do what we feel is best for our families, but how different would that year have been if instead of judging and pointing fingers we focused our hearts and minds on trusting the Lord?
James points out how presumptuous we can be speaking against our brothers and sisters in Christ. We claim to be “the expert,” putting ourselves above the law and use it as we see fit to judge others. How crazy is it that we think we know all that is going on in someone else’s life that we could analyze and judge their behavior? The reality is we rarely even know all of who WE are and why we behave the way we do. There are times I put myself in God’s shoes and write myself off as a hopeless case. Thankfully, God alone knows the truth about every one of us. If he still has hope in me, who am I to count out anyone else?
When we focus on God, and live out of our trust in Him, we can release others from our judgments and condemnations. There is a great freedom we can know when we see ourselves and others through God's eyes. Thank goodness it is He who has the last word on me and others and not me!
Lord, thank you for never giving up on me. Help me to keep an open mind and treat others with the love and respect that they deserve as brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen
Prayer Concern: for those who are oppressed, that they may feel your love.