"When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it." James 4:11b
There are laws everyone knows. For example, the law of gravity. If you jump off the roof gravity is going to win and you will lose. The only people who didn't know that one are no longer with us as they discovered it the hard way.
Then there is the law of double chocolate fudge nut brownies. Choosing to enjoy their addictive delightfulness will result in the expansion of your waist-line. That's just the way it is!
James refers to THE LAW in this portion of Chapter 4 with the assumption everyone knows what he is talking about. And they do. They know he is referring to the Law given to Moses, the Commandments.
When the Law was first given, God gave one law - "don't eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil". Everything else was in play, there was just this one thing they couldn't do.
After they broke that one law and sin entered the equation life became more complicated because that is what sin does - it complicates life. Therefore, more laws were needed and God gave Moses the ten. By the time the Jewish religious leaders got done with their amendments and codicils there were 632 rules to observe. Wow!
So, when Jesus arrived He reduced the Law to just two commands, love God completely and love your brother as yourself. Those two laws satisfied the spirit of the Ten given Moses. And it is to this law of love that James is referring. He knew it and it was clear to them!
You need to understand that God is the Law-Giver so that you can also comprehend why He must also be the Judge. It is not for you to pass judgment on any other person. It seems simple enough doesn't it?
Well, unfortunately there was a lot of judging going on in the church so James had to upbraid them with this reminder.
Which would you rather be part of, a church where everyone is looking for reasons to criticize and condemn you OR a fellowship where people give the benefit of the doubt to others, judge themselves carefully by the Word, and leave the rest to God? Okay, take some time and think about it. I know it is a tough choice.......
The very heart of the Law of Love is that you love God which requires putting Him first in all you do. Therefore, let Him be the judge! Also, it demands that you love your neighbor as yourself. If you don't want another passing judgment on you then you must not judge others.
If you REALLY must judge - American Idol has a couple of openings!