“Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting judgment on it. 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 4:11-12 (NIV)
James 4:11-12 (NIV)
Yesterday I mentioned that forgiveness is extremely difficult for me, because many times, I think that my forgiveness makes whatever they did seem okay. By forgiving them, it’s like it never happened.
Instead of forgiving those who wrong me, I choose to hold on to it as a way of getting back of them. Through my bitterness I hold what they did against them and my unforgiveness fuels me to judge them over and over again.
During times like these, it is also so easy for me to slander them to my friends. I want everyone to know how horrible they are, how much they hurt me, and how worthy they are of my judgment.
James 4 is so important because it reminds us that there is only one Judge. Our Judge can save and destroy. I have been struggling with unforgiveness for years, and in college one of my mentors encouraged me by saying, “Forgiving someone doesn’t mean what they did was okay, but its not your job to judge. God is the only one who can judge and you have to trust that He is a just God. Place this situation into His hands and trust and believe that He is God.”
I don’t always take that route, but the times that I do, I feel as though a burden has been lifted from my heart and I can finally live and walk in freedom.
Who am I to judge my neighbor?? I always think I’m justified in judging my neighbor, friends, family, fiancé—pointing out their faults, dwelling on how their faults effect me, and holding it against them–but there is only one Judge.
How I pray for a heart that is quick to freely love and freely forgive as opposed to a heart that freely slanders and judges. For me, this can only be accomplished through continued prayer, but as we saw last week, “all things are possible with God!”
Lord, I’m so sorry that my heart is filled with slander and judgment. I’m so sorry that it is so hard for me to forgive those who hurt me. If I desire to love You more, I know I need to love all of Your children, even when they hurt me. I pray for a heart filled with love for You and love for my neighbor. As I draw near to You, I pray that You will be so near to me.