Judgmentalism Destroys the Body

Read James 4:11-12

In today's outspoken society, it's easy to believe we hold the ultimate wisdom, allowing us to pass judgment on others. Judging is making a decision and declaration. If you decide somebody looks nice and you tell then, that's a judgment. If you decide somebody is smart and you tell them, that's a judgement. So not all judgements are bad. However, James is speaking of something different. He urges against criticism and slander, actions that tear others down with harsh condemnation. Such attitudes not only condemn fellow believers but also undermine divine law.

This isn't about offering constructive feedback though. Jesus himself urged us to judge with righteous judgment, not superficially based on outward appearances. This means evaluating situations with wisdom and understanding, not with a critical and condemning spirit. While there are instances where church discipline is necessary, our motivation should always be restoration and gentleness, not condemnation.

This is a fine line. Refraining from judgment doesn't mean turning a blind eye to wrongdoing.It's about approaching the situation with humility and a recognition of our own imperfections. As Jesus pointed out, it's hypocritical to point out the flaws in others while ignoring our own. This is why James emphasizes that only God is the true Lawgiver and Judge. If we presume this role, we arrogantly assume an authority that isn't rightfully ours. This doesn't mean we should never address wrongs or hold each other accountable. Instead, it's a call to do so with humility, empathy, and the desire for the other person's well-being.

View judgmentalism as a symptom of spiritual pride, which erodes relationships within the body of Christ. Just as we're vigilant about our physical health, let's be equally vigilant about our spiritual well-being. Unbridled criticism and slander can foster a toxic church environment. By eliminating these traits and embracing humility, we can cultivate growth, unity, and grace among believers, thus glorifying God.

  1. How do you think we can strike a balance between holding each other accountable and avoiding judgmental attitudes?

  2. What does is mean to judge with righteous judgment?

  3. What steps can the Rock Fellowship take to create an environment where growth, unity, and grace flourish while avoiding toxicity caused by criticism and slander?

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