James 2:12-13: “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
“Speak and act” means we are to have total obedience to the Word of God. We are to saturate our speech and action with love, concern, comfort, and compassion. Likewise, we are to avoid harshness, criticism, bitterness, gossip, and selfishness.
Every Christian denomination contains a statement in their beliefs about judgment. We may disagree on the timing, but we all agree that you will be judged sometime. In this passage, I believe the judgment discussed isn’t the Great White Throne Judgment, but the Bema seat where a Christian’s works are going to be judged to determine rewards. While I firmly believe we are saved from our sin and hell based upon the finished work of Christ, I also believe that we are saved for good works. Paul explained in 2 Corinthians 5:10: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” Christians will have a private evaluation, a comprehensive review of our life. Our words, works, and motives will be judged. Since we will need MERCY, James tells us to show MERCY. Mercy is an indicator of our awareness of God’s forgiveness in us. The more we realize God’s mercy in our own lives, the more readily we are to show mercy to others.
I don’t say this to scare you, but to make sure you are prepared.
Some questions to consider:
-Does your conduct reflect the reality that judgment could come at any minute?
-Are you more inclined to show mercy or seek justice?