Judging, Right or Wrong?

Matthew 7:1-5 NASB

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 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.”

We hear a lot of people today talking about how we are not to judge one another, but often now it is in response to us sharing the truth of the gospel that we are being told that. But the Scriptures do not ban all judging, just certain types of judging, while in other places they encourage us to make certain judgments and to act upon them. So, when is judging others acceptable, and when isn’t it? And in what ways are we to judge and/or to not judge?

Some people will quote the above passage of Scripture but only partially, but if we get into the whole context here we see that this passage is not banning all judging, but just the wrong kind of judging. And in this case the judging was hypocritical judging, because the person was pointing out a speck in his brother’s eye while he had a log in his own, figuratively speaking. Basically, he was pointing out a minor flaw in the life of his brother while he had a glaring and very serious flaw in his own, like deliberate sinful practices.

So, the counsel here was not to cease from making any judgment at all, but that he was to first take that glaring sin out of his own life so that he could see clearly to take a minor offense out of the life of his brother. So, what he was doing was wrong, and it was hypocritical, but that doesn’t make all judging bad, but it doesn’t make all judging good, either. So, let’s look at some other biblical examples of right and wrong judging.

In John 7:24 we read that we are not to judge others by appearances. And going along with that we read in 2 Corinthians 10:12 that we are not to judge others by ourselves, by comparing them to and measuring them by ourselves. Now we can judge certain behaviors by the Scriptures, and we can certainly call out certain behaviors according to the Scriptures as what they are and teach what the Scriptures teach regarding those behaviors. But we are not to think everyone else should be just like us, in our own selves.

And then we read in John 7:51 that we are not to judge a person without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does. For we could be completely wrong about the individual, and this would also go along with judging by appearances and judging others by ourselves. And I have had that done to me on more than one occasion, so I know what that feels like. People make their own judgments and then they serve as judge and jury and come to their own conclusions without even a discussion with you.

But when and how are we to make judgments about other people? Well, they should be done biblically and not hypocritically and not without knowledge and proof of wrongdoing. And we should not judge by appearances or by our own selves. But we should judge righteously, and according to the Scriptures, and in love, and with the goal to help others to come out of their sins and to live holy and godly lives so that they will have true salvation from sin and eternal life with God.

And some examples of this kind of judging begin with 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, which is a situation where a man in a particular church gathering was living in sexual immorality, which was considered a situation of incest. And the church was scolded because they did nothing about it, and so they were counseled strongly that they needed to exercise church discipline with this man in order to bring him to his senses. So the body of Christ here was being told they must judge this man to save his soul and to save the rest of the people from his ungodly influence.

Then, in Galatians 6:1-5 we are instructed that if anyone among us is caught in a transgression that we who are spiritual, who are walking with the Lord in obedience to his commands in holy living, should restore this person back to a right relationship with the Lord. And then in James 5:19-20 we are encouraged to bring a wandering Christian back to a right relationship with the Lord, for in so doing we will save his soul from death and his sins will be forgiven. And in Jude 1:22-23 we are encouraged to have mercy on some and save others, snatching them out of the fire.

So, not all judging is wrong. What is wrong is hypocritical judging, false judging, judging others by ourselves or by appearances or without even hearing what they have to say in the matter, or judging which results in us hating, biting, slandering, gossiping about, and otherwise destroying other people’s reputations or us rejecting them based on faulty information. But right judging must be done in love, it must be biblical, and it must have a good purpose and intent, which is to see people come out of bondage to sin to now walk in holiness and in obedience to the Lord, and to be at peace.

[Gal 6:1-5; Jas 5:19-20; 1 Co 5:1-13; Matt 7:1-5; Jn 7:24,51; Jn 8:15-16; Rom 2:3; 2 Co 10:12; Jude 1:22-23]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: We’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

Caution: This link may contain ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s