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Scripture: James 4:11
Broadcast date: 08/24/2015

There used to be a popular cartoon featuring Linus and Lucy.  Lucy is constantly finding fault with poor Linus, until one day he asks Lucy,  “Why are you always so anxious to criticize me?”  Lucy responds, “Because I just have a knack for seeing other people’s faults.”    Linus is exasperated and throwing up his hands, asked, “What about your own faults?”  Without a moment of hesitation, Lucy replies, “I have a knack for overlooking them.”    Well, let me tell you friends, we have a lot of Lucy’s running around the countryside, and just as often it is Mr. Lucy as well.   It just seems to be human nature to see the faults in others while overlooking the same faults in ourselves!  St. James puts it bluntly, “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren.”  (James 4:11)  But in spite of this warning from God, the awful, hurting practice continues.  And the pity of it all is that the fault-finder may have worse sins than the one he is condemning.     Jesus warned about that in His Sermon on the Mount, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”   (Matt. 7:3).   But in spite of all of that, the faultfinding continues with more than one claiming, as Lucy did, that they just have a knack for it.  Worse yet, some claim that knack is a spiritual gift they are exercising.   St. Paul settles it all when he reminds us that there is but one Judge and we will all stand before Him someday.  (Romans 14:10).  The judging business belongs to Jesus alone.   So then, if we are not to judge others, how do we break the habit?   James answers that, too.  He tells us not to speak evil of our brothers and sisters, then tells us how we can break the habit!  First of all the apostle tells us to “draw nigh to God” (vs. 8).  If you make a move towards God, reach out to Him, God will draw nigh to you.  (vs. 8).  That’s the kind of God He is,….We drift away from Him, but He is always there if we turn from our sin and seek our God!  With God there is always a second chance, until we die, then everything is set forever.  But for today, for now, He is waiting with open arms.  So, if you want to stop bad-mouthing people, draw nigh to God, set Him before you, ask Him for forgiveness and then lean on Him.  Get out the Bible, start reading, perhaps the Gospel of John.    Learn all you can about God and make Him the Lord of your life.  Then, the apostle goes on, “Cleanse your hands, ye sinners”  (Vs. 8).   In other words, live a kind, loving life, help others.  If you have wronged someone, make amends.       And finally, James tells us “purify your heart.”  Solomon tells us that “out of the heart are the issues of life.”  (Proverbs 4:23).  That means, that all the good we do, and all the evil we do, originates in the heart.  So, we ask Jesus to come into our heart, to cleanse and purify us for His service.  When we follow this remedy, fault-finding will be a thing of the past!