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Why Are So Many Church Members Judgmental Jerks?

February 22/23, 2020

Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. (James 4:11)

Whether James is speaking of slander, or flattery or gossip—his emphasis is consistent: Don’t be careless in your communication with others or about others.

“What we are often doing is seeing our own faults in others and judging them vicariously. That way we experience the pleasure of self-righteousness without the pain of repentance.”
—John Stott

Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. … By their faults you will recognize them. (Matthew 7:17,20)

The distinctive difference between constructive criticism that people can accept and being judged that people reject is motive.

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself or you also may be tempted. (Galatians 6:1 NIV)

If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out.(Galatians 6:1 MSG)

-A seed of judging others can become a hotbed for hypocrisy.

Judge not lest you be judged. (Matthew 7:1)

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, “let me take the speck out your eye,” when all the time there is a plant in your own eye? (Matthew 7:3-4)

-A spirit of judging others can hinder the witness of the church.

Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world. (Ephesians 6:12)

If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. (Galatians 5:15)

-A habit of judging others can hit home.

For with the measure you use it will be measured to you. (Matthew 7:2)

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. (Matthew 5:7)

With the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

-An ability to judge others fairly is humanly impossible.

Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. (Romans 14:4)

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? (James 4:12)

-Realize who we are—sinners in need of grace. 

-Realize who God is: our Savior and our Judge.