Do not judge me, your Bible said so

Matthew 7:1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

I find that unbelievers loves to use this whenever Christian approach of them and highlight their lifestyles of sin. I sometimes find even Christian like myself follow this and not sounding out the wrongs that our buddies are committing or somehow felt regret after “judging” someone for the misdeeds or intolerable behaviors.

I would like to hear some opinions on this. Is it wrong to correct someone? Is it wrong to judge a bud for their good? Is it a must to use your own standard to avoid being hypocrite? Like I don’t smoke or drink so I use these own standard to judge… I did went for high risk investing so I can’t tell off someone who spend fortune on lottery or in a casino…is that the standard?

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Hi Kenny,

I think you have raised some important questions that deserve to be examined on a deeper level.

I will share a personal story of something that took place a few days ago on Friday. I became very upset with someone and was telling God about their sins and need to change. While praying I got this distinct impression, for lack of a better term, that before I could rant to God about someone else’s faults I must first admit, confess and own up to my own sins and shortcomings. Like the verse says, “If I hide iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear my prayer.” Yes, the focus on someone else’s sin must always start with my own. Can I get an ‘ouch’ anyone?

A pattern I have discovered in myself is that when I am right before God, and not by my own merit, but by obedience and submission, then He will grant me the right attitude and spirit to be able to say what will benefit that person. Sometimes it’s giving them what they least expect, but need the most, that can have the greatest impact.

Is it wrong to correct someone? I must first question myself. Are my motives right? Am I doing this in the right spirit? Is this what God has put on my heart? Would I want to be approached in this way or would it cause more harm than good?

Kenny, I hope this has been helpful to you and pray that you will have wisdom and understanding in all that God has in store for you.

Grace and peace,
Mary Beth

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Wow, you picked a really tough topic didn’t you!? There seems to be such a difficult balance to the whole “judgement” issue.
I often tell people “what you believe doesn’t matter and what I believe doesn’t matter, reality is outside of both of us” Spiritual reality stands no matter what opinion or preference or belief we hold to. Reality stands by its self, outside of us. I think the same can be applied to judgement. Our JUDGEMENT is going to be flawed in many ways, since we are not God. We don’t really understand, let alone have the required attributes to be able to “Judge Justly” and know Good and Evil. The only one who can ultimately judge is the LORD!
But does that mean that we cannot Judge in the sense of knowing what GOD says is right and wrong? Or do we have the right to bring correction to certain people, and if so, when should we correct?

Well, we know that we can bring correction in areas that are explicitly spelled out in scripture. We can know that homosexuality is a sin, that divorce is hated by God, that not treating your wife with love is wrong. These things are clearly spelled out in the scripture, so I think it is fair to say that we can remind people( as God allows us to) to pay attention to what God (Spiritual Reality) says! Particularly in the Christian Fellowship, we are called to hold to a certain accountability

When dealing with non believers I tend to show them love, rather than judgement. But I speak truthfully when we discuss issues. We do not need to condemn the unbeliever, they are already under condemnation in their own hearts. We need to show them God’s love and at the same time, not shrink from difficult subjects. We need to be ready to give an answer in love. It is my experience that when I truly don’t love the unbelieving person I am with, that is when they feel that I am judgmental. So checking my own heart is very beneficial.
But do not allow kindness, tolerance and sentimentality to shut your mouth or change your mind about sins that God hates! Whatever judgement we would feel toward people who commit these sins is far less than what they will receive at God’s hands if they do not repent. I think the bible- as always-says it best. 1 Peter 3:15 *But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, *
When dealing with areas that are not clearly addressed in Scripture, we have to really be careful.
When I was young, I judged anyone and everyone. If they swore, if they smoked, if they watched a certain TV show, if the had depression, if the ate out too much, if they had a “bad” friend etc. The upshot of that is that I drove a lot of people away from the LORD. The Lord had to put me through a lot of hardships so that I would stop thinking that I was more holy than everyone else! I have come to understand that I really need to listen to the LORD before I open my mouth in judgement. And, if I am going to venture to argue for a certain area that I believe is more “righteous” than another, I had better be arguing with the scripture as witness, not basing my answer on preference or knowledge gained in any other way.
For example. I like to play World of Warcraft sometimes. I avoid areas that I believe in my heart I should not play. My daughter and my sister both think that playing ANY of this game is a sin. I need to consider what they say and take it before the Lord. Are they correct? Am I correct? One thing I know is that I will stand before God someday and give account, so I really need to search my own heart.

Another example: Spending money. I firmly believe that having only food and a bed to sleep and clothes I can live without many material items, so I don’t store up for the future in any way. I tend to give money and possessions away. There is a running joke in my family “don’t give Tami anything cause she will give it away”. Does this make “my way” the right way? I am convinced that it is what I should do. But my father and brother and son -all Godly men- invest in the stock market. Which of us is right? Again, we will all stand before God someday, so we should look at our own heart carefully.

The two examples from my life that I gave you, are disagreements where I feel that each person must look at their own heart and allow the other “brothers and sisters” to consider what they need to do before the Lord. I think this verse comes into play here
Romans 14:4 New International Version (NIV)
4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

One last example- I know many Christians, even pastors, who say that we should send our children to the Public Schools so that we can be a light in the community. At the same time, I see so many of the children and grandchildren walking away from the faith in direct result of this behavior. I see the fallacy of reasoning being presented, in that the children are not Christians and are not prepared for the “mission field” that we have so foolishly sent them into. What do I do?
Well, first off, I know my scripture and can defend my position, not from outside evidence, antidote, or example, but rather straight from the Word of God. Secondly, I present my stance firmly and clearly and kindly. Thirdly, when I am rebuffed, I check my own heart for anger and defensiveness ( its always there) and I turn to prayer. Fourthly- I try to come along side my brethren and show them love unconditionally even if I disagree strongly.
I hope these thoughts may help you just a bit. I think this is such a difficult subject and one that we all have to keep working at. You are brave to ask it!

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Hi @Kenny_Chen,

I once struggled with this too. Let me give you a preface: about 3 years ago, I rebuked two of my small group members who I found were cohabiting before marriage. And I thought they accepted it well enough and were profusely apologetic. Then comes our next small group meeting, and when the floor was open for anyone who wanted to share their week, the dude started to open his note(apparently he prepared himself) and started preaching on “Do Not Judge” and those who judge are wrong and goes against Christ, esp for leaders. Obviously, his lame eisegesis was pointing towards me. Not wanting to give it more attention than it should, I diverted by asking others immediately to share their own week.

So going home, I did my own homework on that topic. And let me share my own note with you.

TO JUDGE OR NOT TO JUDGE

——————————————————
Are we allowed to JUDGE?
——————————————————

Matthew 7:1-4
1: “Judge not, that you be not judged.
2: For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
3: And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?
4: Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?

You are still called to judge, BUT after removing your own plank. Otherwise, you are a hypocrite!
——————
Matthew 7:5
Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Beware, NOT everyone can appreciate your judging
——————
Matthew 7:6
“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

————————————————————
On the contrary, we are CALLED TO JUDGE:
————————————————————

John 7:24
“Do not judge according to appearance, but JUDGE with RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT.”

  • The sin is in judging based on appearance.
  • What is “righteous judgment”? Based on the judging Word of God n His principles

We r not called to judge those who are outside, but those who are inside
——————
1 Cor 5:11-12
11: But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.
12: For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not JUDGE those who are INSIDE? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”

If you are wise, it is a SHAME if you do not judge, moreover, appointing those less esteemed to judge.
——————
1 Cor 6:3-5
3: Do you not know that we shall JUDGE ANGELS? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
4: If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge?
5: I say this to your SHAME. Is it so, that there is not a WISE MAN among you, not even one, who will be able to JUDGE between his BRETHREN?

———————
CONCLUSION
———————

  1. Judge for discernment(between good n evil), not condemnation.
  2. Judge based on God’s words/principle, not our own opinion
  3. Introspect ourselves first in the area we are about to judge others on
  4. It is impossible not to judge, and tolerate what is evil to blossom right under our Godly stewardship of authority
  5. But beware, cast not pearls before a swine!

Additional Note:
———————————————
Wait, what about Romans 14?
———————————————
The context for Romans 14 is judging a (weaker faith) brethren’s spiritual state based on the RITUALS/TRADITIONS of religion, like eating, keeping the holy day, etc.

Verse 15 summarizes clearly what the real fuss/context is about:
——————
If you confuse others by making a big issue over what they eat or don’t eat, you’re no longer a companion with them in love, are you? These, remember, are persons for whom Christ died. Would you risk sending them to hell OVER AN ITEM in their diet? (The MSG)

Who are the “Weak Brethren”?
——————
Those who are STRONG on OPINIONS, but WEAK in the FAITH department! (Verse 1, MSG)

The Goal of Romans 14?
——————
As the title says: to CULTIVATE GOOD RELATIONSHIP

Kenny, I hope this helps. Feel free to CMIIW.

Blessings in Christ,
Roy

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I find this to be an interesting topic and I appreciate all the answers.
For me I look at Christ, while the pharisees judged he never did, he loved people more than the rules and he role modelled that as God represented here on earth. He showed us that in every circumstance we should treat people exactly how we would want to be treated. Love the Lord your God first and this will always translate to loving others - that’s the greatest way to help allow the Holy Spirit to do his job…Never ever judge, you can respectfully correct those in your close circle but do this with LOVE and respects always.

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Roy, that was incredibly profound! Thank you so much!

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I will start by saying I feel very unqualified to speak, as my journey with God has been short (though very sweet). One thing that strikes me though is the call to love others before anything else first. If your criticisms of others are gentle, considered and done in a loving way, that is a powerful and necessary thing. If the heart is however judging and critical without love and without care, then this is not a path we should pursue.

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This is one of my pet peeve verses because it is always presented in the King James “Thou shalt not…” and no one ever stops to think that if the verse means what they think it means, they have stepped into its trap. What do I mean by that? If the verse means do not correct someone because you think they have done wrong, what does this say about the one who is speaking in the King James?

There are folks above who speak to the verses and what it actually means. But my point is most people don’t actually think that what you are doing is wrong so long as they agree with the thing you are suggesting for a course correction.

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Hey Michael , I’m glad to see someone from my group here.
Can you elaborate on the above.

Hi Anthea!

Long time no see!

Funny, Matthew 7:1 came up via my Pastor’s sermon yesterday.

Here’s the question I always want to ask whenever someone uses this verse on me. Aren’t you judging me right now? And in reality they are. They are “judging” me for “judging”. So if what this verse is about is that, Jesus just introduced a self-defeating statement. Jesus seems unlikely to do this, and as a matter of fact 7 verses later, he mentions that we should not give our pearls to swine. Now if you are looking at this without it being a metaphor, we know what “swine” (and pearls for that matter) are. However in the context of which he is actually speaking, how do you do that without “judging” those things?

So again, it’s obviously not a case where the point is we shouldn’t judge in the way that most people take that verse.

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Great dialog everyone.

I think we have to remember that in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus discourse held man to an even higher standard than were previously understood. Even looking at a woman could be tantamount to adultery. So when Jesus is condemning the concept of a person judging, he is doing so within the confines of their being a standard for living God’s way, against which we will all be held accountable in His judgement.

Jesus came full of truth and grace. If we only present the grace of Jesus, it is not biblical. If we only present the truth of Jesus, it is not biblical. It must be both. All the time.

Also, there are many verses that guide us to offer correction to another, so taking a single verse out of context never reveals the fullness of the gospel.

Now that I’ve said that, we have to understand that discernment and wisdom play a great role when we see a need to guide someone to a different path. Exhortation is one of the gifts of grace that Paul points out in Romans. So clearly exhorting someone who needs a course correction is not only not outside the realm of grace, but can be a gift of grace.

Romans 12:3-8
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Galations 6:1
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

I Peter 5:1-3
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.

But we do not all have the gift of wisdom or exhortation so we should prayerfully consider what we should do and how we should do it AND whether we are the right person to do it. If it’s a believer or a fellow church member then clergy may be of great value in offering guidance or running interference.

If it’s an unbeliever then we must be wise about what is and isn’t productive in that circumstance. Ultimately we want to lead them to Christ. Ultimately we want them to know that we ALL need a savior and WHO that savior is. The motivation and goal of helping them see their sin should always be love and restoration, it is not ours to condemn.

If we really aren’t sure what is God’s role and our role in a situation then we may not have the spiritual maturity to exhort without wounding. So always exercise care and caution after prayerful consideration. It must be God’s agenda and never our own. And remember that sticking with a person in loving friendship may put you in the right place at the right time when they finally come to the end of themselves and need to be pointed to their savior.

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Evening Kenny,

We are told not to judge people as only God can be our judge. There are two different scenarios to this question, the first being this is an argument of a non-christian in which case they don’t necessarily believe in God, the Resurrection etc. and when we tell them that they are sinning in their eyes we are judging them and who are we to impose our values based on a God they don’t believe in or refuse to obey.

The second scenario are those who go / come to church say they are followers of Christ but still live a life contrary to Scripture because God is love, God will forgive me etc. But if we are truly Followers of Christ we try not to intentionally sin., but for some Christians they think this is okay.

John MacArthur says if we don’t challenge people we ‘could’ be condemning them to hell, as they think they are living there lives faithful but are living their lives contrary to Scripture.

My preference when challenging people in the second scenario is to speak firmly but not in an accusing manner.

Hope this helps.

Kenny_Chen,
This is probably one of the biggest objections that are presented in our culture. Many who make this "Do not judge comment, are forgetting the context of verse 2, which paraphrased states “for by the standard that you judge person, you too will be judged by that same standard.”

The problem is that whenever someone makes the claim, “Judge not” they are making a judgmental statement. A quick response to the one telling us to “judge not” is to ask the person, “why are you judging me (for judging you)?” This is called turning the claim on itself.

Hope this helps.

So many have already given extremely insightful and wise answers. Hopefully, my short words will be able to add. While watching an episode of Let My People Think, I think Francis Chen, if I am not mistaken, emphasized love from Paul’s writings. Love is the bridge to connecting people. Without love for the other person, the judgement is regarded as condemnation. This is stressed to ensure that the other trusts that your words are in their best of health of their spirit. Also, I believe that the correct way to make one aware of a problem, is to use scripture. Notice that besides parables, Jesus Christ would start with “It is written…” There can be no better way to address another with the word of God. I think that intent of love and use of God’s word will always guide you to effective advice to another and without mistake of your own.
Thank you.