Judging Others

Is It Right to Judge others?  What does the Bible say?

The majority of this comes from Bible Believers.org and I have added to it and amended parts.

 

God is the only one who can Judge and condemn someone to Hell. However……..

How many times have you heard someone whine, “Judge not, that ye be not judged?” This verse of Scripture from Matthew 7:1 is often quoted out of context by people who are terrified at the idea of someone preaching against sin or pointing out any form of error in anyone, especially in themselves.

As I stood in a voting line one day I overheard a woman justifying her foolish choice for president by saying, “Well, we aren’t supposed to judge.” Imagine that! Choosing NOT to judge a political candidate on election day! No wonder our nation is in such a mess!

As for Matthew 7:1, the context (verses 1-5) allows judging after you have first judged YOURSELF. Jesus did not make a blanket statement against judgment. He simply pointed out a RULE for judging.
Now, the word “judge” in its various forms (judgeth, judging, judgment, judges, etc) is found over 700 times in God’s word. One whole book of the Bible is titled “Judges” for it was written at a time when God raised up judges to lead His people.

As we are about to see, God EXPECTS His people to judge. In fact, you are sinning against God if you refuse to judge! (Read that again, please)

God Expects Us to Judge

Psa. 37:30 “The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.” A righteous person will talk of judgment. He will not REFUSE to judge. He will talk judgment.

Amos 5:14-15 “Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.” How can you hate the evil and love the good if you refuse to judge? You can’t. You are SINNING when you refuse to judge.

Our generation is well described in Isaiah 59:8: “The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.” People have refused to judge, so there is no peace.

Paul said in Ist Corinthians 1:10 to “. . . be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” Why would Paul make such a statement if judging is wrong?

In Ist Corinthians 2:15 Paul says, “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” Judging is not a sin; judging is a characteristic of being a spiritual person! Satan has been lying to us, hoping that we will NOT judge, because he knows that the right kind of judgment PLEASES God and betters our lives and Christian service.

Someone says, “But should we judge PEOPLE?” Yes, we certainly should. Paul actually REBUKES the Corinthians for NOT judging:

1st Corinthians 6:1-5 “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?”

If judging is wrong, then Paul needs to confess and repent for misleading these Christians! He clearly told them to JUDGE PEOPLE.

If judging people is wrong, how can we obey Romans 16:17-18? II Corinthians 6:17? II Timothy 3:5-6? I John 4:1? Friend, if judging is wrong, then God has contradicted Himself and His words cannot be trusted!

Notice Malachi 3:18: “Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.WOW! Does that sound like it is wrong to judge?

What about Revelation 2:2 ” I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:” Why would the Lord be pleased with these Christians if judging was wrong? Is it not impossible to find someone a “liar” without judging them?

If the Bible is clear about anything, it is clear about the importance of judging on a regular basis in order to properly serve and honor God. To ignore this fact is to ignore all of the Scripture just presented and also the rest of the Bible. God expects us to judge.

God’s Rules for Judging

Now I do not wish to imply that we should spend all of our time judging. Sometimes people judge when they have no business doing so. In John 7:24 Jesus tells us to judge RIGHTEOUS judgment. This can only be done by following the rules that God has established in His word. Here follow seven good rules from Scripture:

Judge Scripturally

Isaiah 8:20 “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Our standard is God’s word, not our feelings, our traditions, or our opinions. Right and wrong should always be determined by God’s word.

Don’t Judge When God’s Word Is Silent

If God’s word is silent about a subject, then you may not have to judge at all. Don’t rush to judgment on an issue when the Bible says very little or is silent about it. Don’t make more of a matter than God makes of it. A good example of this is found in Colossians 2:16: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:” That is, these are not subjects of great importance today, so let’s not make these great issues of judgment.

Pray for Good Judgment Ability

When Solomon received his kingdom he asked God in Ist Kings 3:9 “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?”

James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” We should pray for good judgment ability.

Don’t Respect Persons

Proverbs 24:23 “These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.” Treat all parties fairly without favoring anyone, such as family members or friends. A truly fair judge is blind and deaf to any outer influence.

Isaiah 42:1, 19-21 Verse 1 “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.” Verses 19-21 “Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the Lord’s servant? Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not. The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.”

Judge in Truth

Do not judge another when you do not have all the relevant facts. Jeremiah 5:1 “Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it.”

A true judge is one who seeks the truth. If you must judge, be sure and get all the facts.

Judge Mercifully

Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:2: “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

You’ll reap what you sow Galatians 6:7-9 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

If you are swift and harsh in judging others, then God will see to it that you receive the same from others. Has God not been very merciful to you, even though you deserved it not? Likewise, you should exercise mercy toward others.

Don’t Forget to Judge Yourself

Ist Corinthians 11:30-31: “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.”

If you are a true Christian, then you belong to God. You are God’s child. If you refuse to judge and improve yourself as a child of God, then God will take it upon Himself to judge you. Many of the troubles that we face in life are nothing more than God’s way of judging us since we often neglect to judge ourselves.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if every Christian actually took time to judge themselves before judging anyone else? In Matthew 7:4-5, Jesus says, ” Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” A good judge will not fail to judge himself

As stated above the majority of this comes from Bible Believers.org and I have added to it and amended parts.

From Got Questions:

Jesus’ command not to judge others could be the most widely quoted of His sayings, even though it is almost invariably quoted in complete disregard of its context. Here is Jesus’ statement: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1). Many people use this verse in an attempt to silence their critics, interpreting Jesus’ meaning as “You don’t have the right to tell me I’m wrong.” Taken in isolation, Jesus’ command “Do not judge” does indeed seem to preclude all negative assessments. However, there is much more to the passage than those three words.

The Bible’s command that we not judge others does not mean we cannot show discernment. Immediately after Jesus says, “Do not judge,” He says, “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs” (Matthew 7:6). A little later in the same sermon, He says, “Watch out for false prophets. . . . By their fruit you will recognize them” (verses 15–16). How are we to discern who are the “dogs” and “pigs” and “false prophets” unless we have the ability to make a judgment call on doctrines and deeds? Jesus is giving us permission to tell right from wrong.

Also, the Bible’s command that we not judge others does not mean all actions are equally moral or that truth is relative. The Bible clearly teaches that truth is objective, eternal, and inseparable from God’s character. Anything that contradicts the truth is a lie—but, of course, to call something a “lie” is to pass judgment. To call adultery or murder a sin is likewise to pass judgment—but it’s also to agree with God. When Jesus said not to judge others, He did not mean that no one can identify sin for what it is, based on God’s definition of sin.

And the Bible’s command that we not judge others does not mean there should be no mechanism for dealing with sin. The Bible has a whole book entitled Judges. The judges in the Old Testament were raised up by God Himself (Judges 2:18). The modern judicial system, including its judges, is a necessary part of society. In saying, “Do not judge,” Jesus was not saying, “Anything goes.”

Elsewhere, Jesus gives a direct command to judge: “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly” (John 7:24). Here we have a clue as to the right type of judgment versus the wrong type. Taking this verse and some others, we can put together a description of the sinful type of judgment:

Superficial judgment is wrong. Passing judgment on someone based solely on appearances is sinful (John 7:24). It is foolish to jump to conclusions before investigating the facts (Proverbs 18:13). Simon the Pharisee passed judgment on a woman based on her appearance and reputation, but he could not see that the woman had been forgiven; Simon thus drew Jesus’ rebuke for his unrighteous judgment (Luke 7:36–50).

Hypocritical judgment is wrong. Jesus’ command not to judge others in Matthew 7:1 is preceded by comparisons to hypocrites (Matthew 6:2, 5, 16) and followed by a warning against hypocrisy (Matthew 7:3–5). When we point out the sin of others while we ourselves commit the same sin, we condemn ourselves (Romans 2:1).

Harsh, unforgiving judgment is wrong. We are “always to be gentle toward everyone” (Titus 3:2). It is the merciful who will be shown mercy (Matthew 5:7), and, as Jesus warned, “In the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:2).

Self-righteous judgment is wrong. We are called to humility, and “God opposes the proud” (James 4:6). The Pharisee in Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector was confident in his own righteousness and from that proud position judged the publican; however, God sees the heart and refused to forgive the Pharisee’s sin (Luke 18:9–14).

Untrue judgment is wrong. The Bible clearly forbids bearing false witness (Proverbs 19:5). “Slander no one” (Titus 3:2).

Christians are often accused of “judging” or intolerance when they speak out against sin. But opposing sin is not wrong. Holding aloft the standard of righteousness naturally defines unrighteousness and draws the slings and arrows of those who choose sin over godliness. John the Baptist incurred the ire of Herodias when he spoke out against her adultery with Herod (Mark 6:18–19). She eventually silenced John, but she could not silence the truth (Isaiah 40:8).

Believers are warned against judging others unfairly or unrighteously, but Jesus commends “right judgment” (John 7:24, ESV). We are to be discerning (Colossians 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). We are to preach the whole counsel of God, including the Bible’s teaching on sin (Acts 20:27; 2 Timothy 4:2). We are to gently confront erring brothers or sisters in Christ (Galatians 6:1). We are to practice church discipline (Matthew 18:15–17). We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).


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