Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
~ James 4:11-12
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”
~ Proverbs 18:21
Never condemn each other… Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace. Keep silent, refrain from judgment. This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult, and outrage and will shield your glowing hearts against all evil.”
~ St. Seraphim of Sarov
The Monk Who Never Judged
By St. Nikolai Velimirovich.
Memorial to a monk who joyfully died and who never judged anyone in his life
This monk was lazy, careless, and lacking in his prayer life; but throughout all of his life, he did not judge anyone. While dying, he was happy. When the brethren asked him how is it that with so many sins, you die happy? He replied, “I now see angels who are showing me a letter with my numerous sins. I said to them, Our Lord said: `stop judging and you will not be judged’ (St. Luke 6:37). I have never judged anyone, and I hope in the mercy of God that He will not judge me.” And the angels tore up the paper. Upon hearing this, the monks were astonished and learned from it.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič for Old Calendar date March 30, and New Calendar date April 12.
A certain elder, who was asked by the brothers what condemnation is and what it means to speak ill of another, gave the following explanation: ”In the case of speaking ill of someone, one reveals the hidden faults of his brother. In the case of condemnation, one censures something obvious. On the one hand, if someone were to say, for example, that such-and-such a brother is well-intentioned and kind, but lacks discretion, this would be to speak ill of him. If, however one were to say that so-and-so is greedy and miserly, this is condemnation, for in this way he censures his neighbor’s deeds. Condemnation is worse than speaking ill of another.”
~ From the Desert Fathers
“Give no ear to the slanderer’s talk nor let your talk run on in the fault-finder’s hearing, by readily speaking and listening to things against your neighbor; otherwise you will fall from divine charity [love] and be found a foreigner to eternal life.”
~St. Maximus the Confessor.
When someone lives according to the Gospel, he is entitled to divine help. He walks with Jesus Christ. What can we say? The man has earned His blessing. This is the foundation of it all. Once that is given, there is nothing to fear. The important thing is that Christ, Panaghia and the Saints should find rest in everything we do, and when that happens, we will have their blessing and the Holy Spirit will overshadow us… The condemnation is full of injustice.Condemnation is rife with injustice and dispels the Grace of God…Injustice draws the wrath of God. It is a tremendous thing! Those who commit injustice set their heads on fire.
St. Paisios of Mount Athos
Prayer of St. Ephrem
O Lord and Master of my life…grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for You are blessed unto ages of ages.