Judgement or freedom?

GraceI’ve been reading from James with a group of friends and we have been posting our reactions to various verses on Facebook. Today I felt challenged to discuss James 2:12-13.

12 So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. 13 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you. (NLT)

Do we have favorite sins we like to zoom in on – oh yes – sins that OTHER people do? Isn’t it so much easier to recognize other people’s faults than to see our own.

Our nation gets more and more polarized every day as it moves in anti-Christian directions. And Christians are becoming more and more vocal in resisting changes – as we should be. But there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. Are we showing mercy as we share our beliefs?

I love Facebook. But there is also much not to love. Opinions fly in every direction and discussions often become heated, even between friends. I’m guilty as well. Friends have unfriended me after such discussions in the past.

We try to be cute and funny sometimes, when our words are truly hurtful. One such post I regret having put on Facebook is about April Fools Day being the atheists’ holiday. Nobody wants to be laughed at, and we don’t endear ourselves to any atheist by making fun of them. Nor will they be interested in coming to us to find out what makes our lives so much richer (if indeed they are).

The same is true of many of the posts that fly around about homosexuality, abortion, and any of a great pile of “terrible sins.” What we forget is that all sins are sinful. Gossiping. Lying. Cheating. Showing favoritism. Breaking the law – i.e. speeding. Holding grudges. Coveting. Failing to give God a full tithe. Hating anyone. There are so many sins that we too are guilty of.

Re-read James 2:12-13 in any translation. Freedom comes from showing mercy to others, not from condemning them. So unless we are leading a perfectly sinless life, we must learn how to show mercy to others.

About Janice D Green

Janice D. Green retired as an elementary librarian to write children's books. She is author and publisher of The Creation and The First Christmas, Bible storybooks for children. Her passion is to write about the Bible in a way that encourages people to want to read it for themselves. www.honeycombadventures.com www.janicedgreen.com.

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