To Judge or Not to Judge…
by Stephen M
Copyright © 2
Can a Christian judge another?
People often say, “Don’t judge me!” or “Who are
you to judge?” Sometimes they will cite
a snippet of scripture that usually comes from one of the following two verses:
Matthew 7:1 “Do
not judge, or you too will be
judged. 2 For in the same way you judge
others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured
Luke 6:37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be
condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
For the most part, they are trying to fend off
righteous examination of sin in their lives, and this approach is often
effective with uninformed Christians.
Unfortunately, those presenting this rebuke usually
only concern themselves with the first three words, even if they quote more of
If you read the verses with intent to understand,
Jesus is saying, “Don’t be a hypocrite.” If you follow along with what Jesus says,
here and in many other places, you’ll see that we must judge.
For example, Jesus said,
Matthew 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not
throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet,
and then turn and tear you to pieces.
How do you do this without “judging” by today’s
connotation? You must determine who is a
dog and who is a pig. Clearly then,
something other than our current understanding of judging is meant by Matthew 7:1
and Luke 6:37.
In the following verses, Jesus tells people to
judge with right/righteous judgments.
John 7:24 Stop
judging by mere appearances, and make a right
John 7:24 “Do
not judge according to appearance, but judge
with righteous judgment.” (KJV)
(compare w/Matthew 7:1 & 2)
Some might say, “We’re all walking around with
planks in our eyes” as indicated the song, “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” by
Matthew 7:3-4 and Luke 6:41
 ”Why do
you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to
the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me
take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own
do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention
to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother,
let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank
in your own eye?
Again, we need to read what follows!
 … first take the plank out of your
own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s
first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove
the speck from your brother’s eye.
Jesus told us to take the plank out of our
eyes, and then help your brother take the speck out of his eye. If we, as believers are constantly walking
around with “planks in our eyes,” we’ve got a problem.
In Romans 2:1, Paul indicates the same sentiment
as Jesus in Matthew 7:1 and Luke 6:37, that is, “don’t judge someone if they
are doing the same thing you’re doing.”
Romans 2:1 You,
therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you
are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
Yet, Christians are not subject to judgment.
Romans 8:1 Therefore,
there is now no condemnation for
those who are in Christ Jesus,
(The word used here
for condemnation can be translated Judgment.)
Christians are to make judgments about all
The spiritual man makes judgments about
all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:
We are to judge those who sin in the church.
1 Corinthians 5:12
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13
God will judge those outside. “Expel the
wicked man from among you.”
We are to judge matters of this life.
1 Corinthians 6:2
Do you not know that the saints will
judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent
to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4
Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men
of little account in the church!
How can one discern without making judgments?
Hebrews 5:14 But
solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained
to discern good and evil.
Jude indicates we’re supposed to help others
out of sin, but to hate everything about the sin:
Jude 23 Snatch
others from the fire and save them; * to others show mercy, mixed with
fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
On the other hand, we are to be careful when
assessing behaviors acceptable to our Lord, but which may seem questionable to
1 Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable
matters. 2 One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man,
whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The man who eats everything
must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything
must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s
servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the
Lord is able to make him stand.
Nevertheless, who are we to judge? We are Christians, and we are commanded and
have been given authority by Jesus Christ to judge sin.
 Additionally, the verses don’t even
apply to Christians because they’re already forgiven. A Christian’s forgiveness is not based on
behavior, but on faith in Jesus Christ.