Read Introduction to James
“There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another”
Who are you to judge another
“Who are you” in rhetorical form emphasizes the enormity of how James sees the sin of judging. This phrase is emphatic in the Greek making judgment of fellow creatures rash and arrogant because it usurps the place of God, “Who do you think you are, God?” We think we have better criteria than God does when we judge others on any other standard than the perfect standard of God’s judgment.
Le 19:16 “You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.”
Ro 14:4,10 “Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand… 10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”
We put ourselves in the place of God when we judge the motives of fellow Christians.
Judging fellow Christians is a favorite indoor sport for many Christians. True humility does not superciliously judge others for at the heart of judging is pride. Judgmental pride usurps the place of God (Ro 14:1-13). This sin assumes a prerogative that belongs solely to God because it presumes to know the motives and intents of the person judged.
The Lord summed up the entire law in one statement: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” If we sit in judgment on others, we sit in judgment on the law. God says to love our neighbor but if we judge him, we usurp the place of God. When we do this, we make ourselves vulnerable to greater lawlessness and rebellion.