Have you ever wondered what the Bible says about judging others?
Naturally, many believe making judgments is wrong. Maybe you’re in this camp and have told others not to judge you.
But what does the Bible actually say about judging others? Does it tell us to refrain from doing so at all?
Let’s turn to the Bible to see what it says about judging others.
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Bible Verses About Judging Others
The most common Bible verse that’s used when the topic of judgment comes up is Matthew 7:1. There are a few other places in scripture that talk about judgment though.
Here are Bible verses about judging others:
- Luke 6:37-38 – “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you,” (NIV).
- John 6:37 – “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly,” (NIV).
- Romans 2:1-3 – “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?” (NIV).
- Galatians 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,” (NIV).
- 1 Corinthians 2:15 – “The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one,” (ESV).
What does the Bible say about judging others?
Now that we’ve looked at a few scriptures that talk about judging others, let’s take a moment to consider what these passages mean. At first glance, some scriptures might look like they’re telling us not to judge at all.
For example, Matthew 7:1 is a verse that is often brought up, even by unbelievers. It reads, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged,” (NIV). If you separate this from its surrounding context, it appears like it’s instructing us to not judge. However, it’s important to look at the surrounding context.
Let’s read the full passage in Matthew 7.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 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 eye? 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,” (Matthew 7:1-5 NIV).
If you read the passage in its full context, you’ll notice it’s talking about hypocritical judgment. Hypocritical judgment means you are judging someone for doing something that you also do. This passage instructs you to “first take the plank out of our own eye” so you can “remove the speck from your brother’s eye”. This implies that judgment can be done righteously.
Can we judge others according to the Bible?
So, can we judge others according to the Bible?
The Bible says we are able to judge others, but only if you do so righteously. If you are judging someone, you must make sure you’re not also committing the same sin. Matthew 7 isn’t the only passage that indicates this. We also see this principle in John 6, Galatians 6, Romans 2, and Luke 6.
How to Judge Righteously
So, you know that you’re able to judge, but how do you judge righteously? Here are some steps to consider when judging righteously.
Examine Your Heart First
First, examine your heart. What are your motives for making judgments? Is it to restore your brother or sister? (Galatians 6:1).
Or is your motive to make yourself look better than someone else? Make sure your motives are coming from a sincere and pure place.
Look to the Word of God
When in doubt, look to the word of God as your guide. The Bible tells us that our speech should be loving and gracious (Colossians 4:6, James 1:19).
When confronting someone about their sin, do so in a loving and gentle manner. Don’t approach them condescendingly. Approach them in a loving manner that seeks to restore them from sin.
Pray About It
If you feel you need to make a judgment about someone, pray about it. Ask God to reveal your motives. Are you judging righteously? Do you seek to reconcile your brother or sister to Christ?
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