Do not speak evil against one another, brothers.
The one who speaks against a brother
or judges his brother speaks evil against the law
and judges the law. But if you judge the law,
you are not a doer of the law but a judge.
There is only one lawgiver and judge,
He who is able to save and to destroy.
But who are you to judge your neighbor?
Groucho Marx once said,
"I was married to a judge; I should have asked for a jury!"
Unfortunately, we sometimes try to be judge and jury. We are warned through the apostle James that when we judge, we are also judging the law. The law says,"'Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor's life. I am the Lord." ( Leviticus 19:16 ) Jesus said, "Judge not, that you be not judged." (Matthew. 7:1)
In other words, the pot has no room to call the kettle black! We have no license to sit in judgment of another. That's God's job.
We must distinguish, for the sake of teaching our little ones, the difference between judging another and being discerning. We want them to be discerning in order to know good from evil.
Discernment: The power or faculty of the mind, by which it distinguishes one thing from another, as truth from falsehood, virtue from vice; acuteness of judgment; power of perceiving differences of things or ideas, and their relations and tendencies.
Judgment: In light of James 4:11-12, the word means the act of censuring rashly; passing severe sentence on another.
We must teach our children to perceive right from wrong. But we must also teach them not to judge or speak evil of others. And we must do that by example. Ouch!
Is it possible to keep the lid to our pot on, to look at the kettle and allow the heat of judgment to come from the Source? It must be, because we are warned to do just that--keep a lid on and allow God to be the Lawgiver and Judge.