James 4:11-12 (NLT)
11 Don�t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God�s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. 12 God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?
In these verses the apostle tells us to carefully consider the rashness of our judgment against others. Those judgments are to be carefully avoided for God is the judge of people�s hearts and it is up to each individual to follow as God would lead them. The Greek word used by James for speaking of someone harshly is katalaeite, which signifies speaking anything that may hurt or injure another. Krino is the word for judge, means to pronounce an opinion of right and wrong. It is a choice, a preference, and opinion. James wants us to understand we are not to give an opinion that hurts someone, but instead love the person while understanding what God desires.
A bank robber, nicknamed the �Gentleman Bandit�, would rob banks while apologizing for his actions. So gentlemanly was this robber that his notes to the teller were always kindly written. Unfortunately there was a Catholic priest who resembled the robber. A woman came forward saying the priest was her lover and he may have been the robber. At first the church stood behind the priest, but as the prosecutor continued to press the case people began to believe he was actually the perpetrator. They conceived a priest might be a mild manner gentleman robber. During the midst of his trial the real robber came forward and confessed to the crimes. The Catholic priest was innocent and was set free after the confession by the other man proved true. People need to be careful about their judgments of others. It is best to remain silent than to speak of a person in a way that hurts them. Our words should be motivated out of love and not out of harsh emotion.