Who Made Me the Judge?
In his book, illustrations of Bible Truth, H.A. Ironside pointed out the folly of judging others. He told the story of a well-known bishop, who was sailing to Europe on a great transatlantic ocean liner. When he went on board, he found that he was to share his cabin with another passenger. After going to see his accommodations, he went to the purser's desk to ask if he could leave his gold watch, and other valuables, in the ship's safe. He explained that ordinarily he would not ask to do this, but he had been to the cabin, and had met the man whom he was staying with. Judging from his appearance, the bishop was afraid that he might not be a very trustworthy person. The purser accepted the responsibility for the valuables, and said, "It's all right bishop, I'll be glad to take care of them for you. The other man has just been up here, and left his things for the same reason!"
In these two verses of our text, James returns to one of the major themes of his epistle: the use of the tongue. However, the particular emphasis, here, is upon using our tongue, and our speech to judge others. I believe that F.B. Meyer addressed this subject this best, when he said, "When we judge someone, for what appears to be, there are some things we presume, but we do not know. First, we know not the hardships they have dealt with, the power of the forces that have assailed them; or, what we would do in the same circumstances!"
Therefore, James attacks this issue head on, and very candidly. By showing us three truths, he seems to ask the question, "Who Made Me The Judge?" Notice, he demonstrates that when we're guilty of judging others, there are three things that we do. When we judge others:
I. WE DISREGARD THE PRINCIPLE OF SPIRITUAL LOVE(11a)
The first thing that happens, when we judge others, is that we disregard the principle of spiritual love. Notice, in this verse, the "brethren, or brother" is reference to ...
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