Christians are so 'Judgy'
"Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgement without mercy will be show to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgement!"
Have you every taken one of those personality tests? My Myers-Briggs has me pegged as an ISTJ. The letters stand for Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judgement. Yes...judgement. Apparently one of the weaknesses of my ISTJ personality is that I can tend to be judgemental of those who don't agree with my opinion or who willfully ignore facts. Hey...don't judge me. I'm working on it!
Maybe that's why this verse jumped out at me today. That and the 'thinking' part of my personality also likes the logic of these verses. James says that we need to speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom. Why? Because this will (or at least should) temper how we speak and act. If we are harsh and judgemental in our speech and actions, then mercy will not be shown to us either.
Jesus said it this way. "Do not judge others or you too will be judged (Matt. 7:1)." And then he adds that we will be judged with the same severity that we judge others as well. Sobering thoughts.
Here's the thing. We all have opinions about how other people live their lives. Some of those opinions might even be right. But trying to force those opinions in a judgemental way is harsh and hurtful. Each of my kids at different times in their lives have commented about certain groups of people in the church, "Why do they have to be so 'judgy' all the time?" It's a good question.
We need (I need) to learn to be merciful instead of judgemental. To show mercy in my speech and my attitudes and my actions and leave the judgement to God. He's really the only one equipped to do it righteously anyway. And guess what? Even though He is a righteous and just judge, His default with us is mercy! He loves us. He sent His Son for us. And through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross has paved the way for mercy to triumph over judgement! So, what do you say we try and live like that too?
"Lord, by the power of your Holy Spirit, help me to change my default from judgement to mercy. Thank you for your grace and mercy towards me." Amen