Is it wrong to judge? In our present day secular society, people who speak against sin are stigmatized, malign, and often times ridiculed for standing for what’s right. People are so allergic to others who try to tell them what’s wrong and or what’s right that they will censor them in the name of “political correctness”.
Sometimes, I can also hear other people saying, “You can’t judge me. Who are you to judge?” This society has surely made fun of the universal truths that once govern this world. They run to the principle everyone’s-opinion-is-as-good-as-other’s. You have your opinion. I have my opinion. So let us just get over it and be happy with each other.We hear people saying, “Oh you should not be saying that. Let us not judge other people, okay?” Most Christians are now being silenced because they “judge” other people. Personally, I also experienced being labeled as judgmental when I make comments about moral issues that are happening in our society.
Another most dogmatic saying I hear is that people say, “The Bible said that we should not judge one another”. But is it really what the Bible say? Does God or Jesus forbid us from passing a judgment?
After all we have an entire book in the Bible named as Judges. Even the term judge in the King James Version is mentioned over 550 times! Judgment is obviously a big topic for God.
I believe one of the most misquoted verses in the Bible is Matthew 7:1.
“Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1).
Oops. There it is! The Bible said we should not judge! I guess we have nothing to talk about. Let’s close our Bible and go on with our lives… but is it really the intention of Jesus?
The problem with people is that they immediately stop right there in Matthew 7:1 and never read the whole picture.
Let us continue reading.
“For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” In this verse, Jesus is telling us the reason of His statement. The first statement never meant that we should never judge other people, but rather He is stating this to tell us that we need to judge ourselves first, before judging other people.
In this post, I want to share with you 3 important lessons you need to know about judging. Please lend me your ears and your attention as these lessons are very important.
Lesson number 1: JUDGE YOURSELF FIRST
I already mentioned this as I was explaining Matthew 7:1-5. Let’s read verses 3-5.
Mat 7:3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
Mat 7:4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?
Mat 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Speck here is translated from the Greek word “Karphos” which means a twig. This verse is implying that we are too quick in finding fault on others that we forget to look at ourselves. You are seeing the twig on your brother’s eye, while you cannot see the beam in your own eye. We are too concerned with other people’s fault and sin that we tend to ignore our own sin, which is greater in comparison.
How many times are we like that? We judge other people without judging ourselves first? We look around and say, “Look at that sinner! Thankfully, I am not like him.” “I am better Christian than that person.”
Make yourself credible first and in the position to make the right judgment.
Lesson number 2: JUDGE NOT ACCORDING TO APPEARANCE
John 7:24 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
Here’s another proof that it is okay to judge as long as you are judging with a righteous judgment.
In order for you to effectively judge others, you need not to just judge yourself first, but you need to know righteous judgment and it only comes with wisdom and knowledge from God. You cleansed your mind, words, and actions to know how to perform righteous judgment.
In this verse, we can see that the Jews were angry to Jesus because Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath. The Jews are judging Jesus according to appearance. At the surface, they are strongly convinced in themselves that Jesus is breaking the Law of Moses or of God and yet, Jesus said, with a righteous judgment, that it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath.
How about us brethren, do we sometimes judge according to appearance? Judging hastily without knowing all the facts? One person tells you a gossip, then you believe that and you and tell other people about that gossip until the gossip becomes the talk of the town. Then suddenly, you found out the truth that the gossip is baseless. Will you be able to take back your words and undo the damage you have done?
Or maybe you see your pastor having talking to a lady, then you concluded that you pastor is having an affair. You tell everyone about the “affair” and then you realized that that lady is just seeking counsel and is currently facing a deep problem; thus, spending more time with the pastor asking for help.
Are these righteous judgment or judging according to appearance?
The key here is we must know the facts and truth to perform righteous judgment.
We need to judge other people according to the standard of God and not by our own standards. We must avoid judging according to our unstable feelings, but according to the law and commandment of God.
Lesson number 3: SPEAK JUDGMENT IN LOVE
Ephesians 4:15 “Speaking the truth in love”.
How should we pass judgment? It should be done with LOVE.
Do you know why this godless society is telling us not to judge? Because they don’t like people pointing to them their faults. They don’t like other people telling them what is right or wrong. They don’t want to be convicted by their conscience. We hear people, “Ah don’t judge me, you don’t have the right to judge me”.
This statement is made by coward people who are afraid to face the truth that what they are doing is wrong.
The people of God are expected to make judgment. If the people of God see something’s wrong, God expects us to judge and say that is wrong. If the Bible is clear about an issue, we can say it is wrong. Abortion is wrong, homosexuality is wrong, killing is wrong, stealing, adultery, fornication, pornography and many others.
If we see our brother sinning, in a loving way, we need to remind that person what he is doing is wrong. But in all these, we need to speak the truth in love. We need to judge our brethren’s action with the motivation and desire that we want that person stop from his wrong doing and start doing things right.
Satan hates it when a righteous person judge, why? Because if we judge, that person we corrected might change his or her way which is something Satan really hates. In effect, if we don’t do anything, we are doing Satan a favor.
Remember what Edmund Burke said?
“All that necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing”.
If we don’t do anything to correct the situation, the situation will worsen and lead to bigger problems.
The truth can hurt brethren. The truth can hurt. By judging, we can offend people. But this does not mean that we just do nothing just for the sake of saving ourselves of trouble. It is up to us on how we deliver judgment or correction that it will be less painful. If we truly love one another, we need to correct each other and stop each other from continuing the path of destruction. Thus, We MUST speak the truth in love.
Let me make this clear: We are only to judge, but never condemn. That is God’s prerogative, not ours. God will be the one who will ultimately judge them. Yes, we can know a tree by its fruits, but it is only God who can discern the heart. We should never condemn. We only judge the sin but not the sinner – the same way that Jesus hates sin but loves sinners. Judging is very complicated and a serious matter. We need to ask God for wisdom to make a righteous judgment.
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