Our scripture today is James 4:11-12.

“Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?”

James reminds us of the instruction from Jesus “Judge not, lest you be judged” (Matthew 7:1). He says if we do so we are then no longer doers of the law, but judges of it. The implication is that when we judge others we usurp the power of the ultimate judge, God Himself.

Jesus follows up this statement with the warning to “take the log from your own eye, then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:5). Our sin is right in front of us, as big as a log, but we insist on pointing out the speck in others! We must repent and live for Christ before even trying to correct our brothers and sisters.

This passage teaches us that we must be responsible for our own lives. When we condemn others we open ourselves to condemnation. Lifting each other in prayer and sharing the Gospel is the way we will change the world.

Patient God, You have given us Jesus as our savior and example. You have given us Your holy word as the instruction by which to live. Help us to pay attention to our own lives and our connection to You. Amen.

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