Season: 1 Episode: 008
If I had a dollar for every time someone said, “Don’t judge others” I would be rich. Does the Bible tell us not to judge others? What did Jesus mean when He said, “Judge not”? Today, we will dive into what Jesus really meant and why this verse is taken out of context amongst believers and non-believers today.
“People will eventually reveal themselves.”
“We must call sin what it is and not allow the words, “Don’t judge me” to back us into a corner and silence us.”
“People give themselves away with how they talk, how they treat others, how they interact with others, and what they do.”
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elcome back, my friend. You are listening to episode 8: What Does the Bible Say About Judging Others?
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Ok. Now back to our topic for today: judging others.
If I got paid for every time I’ve heard someone say, “Don’t judge” I would be one rich lady.
In our culture today, we hear all the time that we are not supposed to judge. And Christians? I gasp at the thought of a Christian judging someone. That’s sarcasm, in case you can’t tell.
I think this is such an important topic … especially in the times we are living in today, because when you think about it … we are so afraid of being accused of judging someone else, we end up staying silent when it comes to matters that require a voice, an advocate, or reason.
What is the popular opinion about whether it’s right to judging others?
First, people say you can’t judge because Jesus said, “Judge not, lest you be judged.” That is the infamous scripture everyone … Christian or not … regurgitates when it comes to judging.
Is this true? Did Jesus mean that we are not supposed to judge anyone? We’ll explore that question as we move forward?
Second, if we do judge, what’s our basis for making a sound judgment? Of course, this is not going to be an opinion based on emotion or desire. It has to be taken within context of Scripture.
And finally, what is a Christian’s responsibility when it comes to judging or not judging? Do we have a responsibility when it comes to judging others? We’re going to find out.
So, let’s tackle the first and most repeated statement made by everyone … “You can’t judge others.”
Ok, being that I’m a wordy person and all, I looked up the definition of the word “judge” and it means to form an opinion or conclusion. Sounds reasonable, right?
Well, not according to the people who quote Matthew 7:1 when Jesus said, “Do not judge or you too will be judged.”
Now, let me ask you a question: have you ever hired someone? If so, you’ve made a judgment as to whether or not they would be a good fit for you company.
Have you ever asked someone to babysit your kids? If so, you’ve made a judgment as to whether or not they were responsible enough to keep your kids alive for a few hours.
Have you ever thought someone was weird, funny, loving, rude, sarcastic, annoying, lazy, intelligent, hard working, etc, etc? If so, you’ve made a judgment about them.
I will never be convinced that people who say, “Don’t judge” never judge others. Is it only permissible to judge someone when it comes to non moral things or religious things?
I’ll let you answer that.
So, what did Jesus mean when He said, “Do not judge”?
Let’s take it back to Matthew 7. If you only want to pull this one verse out of the entire chapter , you’re taking this verse out of context.
Let’s read to verse 5: “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 to you.
3 “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? 4 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 eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Let’s pull out some really important parts of these verses:
There’s a measure to our judgment: Is it harsh? With grace? With motives to correct the other person so they grow closer to Christ or to pull out flaws only?
And Jesus goes on to say, “Why do you look at the speck in your brothers eye when you have a plank in yours?”
Jesus is talking about making judgments of others and not dealing with your own heart first. When we are quick to judge and correct others and neglect the condition of our heart, we are being hypocrites. In the grand scheme of things, we have the bigger problem … the plank … when we do that.
And finally, in verse 5, he says … “Remove the plank in your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Did you catch that? He said to deal with your own heart first … then you will be in a position to correct your brother.
Jesus is not saying not to judge. Within context of scripture, He’s talking about judging in hypocrisy.
Second, if we do judge, what’s our basis for making a sound judgment?
Well, according to the verses in Matthew 7, we know we have to judge with sound judgment and without hypocrisy.
But, we must also make sure we don’t conclude that our assumptions are sound judgment. We will never ever be able to judge the heart of another person. We are not God. And God makes this clear in 1 Samuel 16:7, “7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
We can only make judgments based on what we observe. God sees the heart. So, be careful not to assume you know someone’s motives or heart when you make a judgment.
And now you may be wondering, “Since we can only make judgments based on observations, how do we make sound judgments?”
Again, in Matthew 7:15-20, Jesus tells us how to make good judgments about others based upon observations:
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”
People give themselves away with how they talk, how they treat others, how they interact with others, and what they do.
I always say that people eventually reveal themselves. Give it time and you will see their fruit. A good tree can’t bear bad fruit and vise versa.
And lastly, what is a Christian’s responsibility for judging others?
Let me start by saying we do have a responsibility. We are accountable to each other because God has called us to love one another and bear one another’s burdens.
If someone calls themselves a Christian, they have just branded themselves as someone who is holding themselves to biblical standards. Now, don’t get me wrong. No one is perfect and as the Bible says, we all fall short.
But are they allowing God to sanctify them? Are they walking in His ways?
There are many, many people our there who call themselves Christians but live like the devil. That is not OK. And as we’ve read in Matthew, there are some who call themselves Christians but are wolves in sheeps clothing. They’re pretenders.
We have some in our midst today. Big named “Christians” who denounce God or fall away because of elicit affairs. Are we supposed to sit idly by and not give a voice to the standard God has set for us?
Paul addressed an issue of sin in the Corinthian church when a son slept with his father’s wife. No one said anything. They allowed the sin to continue until Paul addressed it. He said even though I am not with you, I have already passed judgment on this man.
In 1 Corinthians 5:12 he said, “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 person from among you.”
To say it another way … judge those who call themselves Christians but are living in sin. You won’t be very popular. But are you after popularity or upholding truth? Someone has to be bold enough to do it.
Paul said the people who don’t claim to know God and don’t want to live by His standard, God will judge. But you Christians better hold one another accountable.
So, why this topic today?
A couple reasons.
- We regurgitate the words of others and we adopt them as truth. “Do not judge” is false and those who say it do not understand the Scriptures.
2) We live in a world where people are afraid to stand up and defend truth. Christians need to hold each other to God’s standard of righteousness. And of course, the motive is to draw one another closer to God and should be done completely out of love for the person.
3) There are a lot of people who call themselves Christians. Talk is cheap these days. We need to judge the fruits of those who claim to know the Lord and watch to make sure the church rises up and lives truth.
If you have any questions about this topic or want me to expand on anything, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll always answer back.
In the meantime, love one another, uphold truth, and don’t allow your assumptions to become your judgments. Ask God for discernment and be the light.
That’s it for today’s show. I hope you’ll meet me back next week for a brand new episode.