I have to admit I have a bit of a lead foot when it comes to driving. There are certain roads that I drive – flat and smooth and open – where it just pains me to actually go the speed limit. And so, there are times when I have thought the law to be a bit foolish, unnecessarily strict. But who am I to judge the law? Who am I to decide which law should be obeyed and which law can be ignored?
Such an approach is not new. Even in the times of Christ there were those who thought they could determine what should be obeyed and what could be ignored. In this letter from James (believed to be the brother of Jesus), what warning is given? What do we judge when we judge our brother? Who is the one Judge and Lawgiver?
Exceeding the speed limit when there is no one around to be affected is still against the law. Slipping through a stop sign when it is late at night and there is no one around is also against the law. It may seem foolish to obey such laws when we consider ourselves intelligent enough to realize they aren’t necessary in certain circumstances, but the law is the law.
The same is true of our attitudes toward one another. We are reminded not to slander one another. We are told not to judge one another. But still we do. We examine others and choose to have them part of our family of faith or to exclude them.
And when we do that we are passing our own judgment on the law of God. Jesus has taught us to accept one another, to be part of the forgiveness we all need. Jesus has taught us not to judge one another. And when we do we are deciding in our own hearts that the teachings and instructions of Christ do not apply to us.
Who are you to judge your neighbor? Jesus is the only one to offer judgment. Christ is the one who is the Lawgiver. And the law of Christ is that we accept one another.
DAILY CHALLENGE: How can you avoid judging others?