Are Christians Suppose to Judge?
If you spend any amount of time on Twitter you will soon find that there are many people who are judgmental and those who are judgmental toward those who judge. It does not take long before emotions run high and many furious posts are shared all over social media. “Don’t tread on me!” “You have no right to judge me!” “Jesus does not judge me!” I am sure you have witnessed this type of behavior.
Nobody really wants to be labeled a judgmental person and followers of Christ should not desire a reputation of being judgmental. Jesus himself warns many to, “Judge not, and you will not be judged… You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.” Not only Jesus but Paul also says, “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?” Paul calls out those who would see sin in others while overlooking their own failures. He himself points out that God will not overlook what we overlook in our own lives.
But at the same time both of these passages do not speak toward judging as a bad thing in itself, but how we judge needs to be done in the right manner. Jesus did not condemn judgment but instead taught us how to judge. We judge others from a place of understanding and purity.
So could it be that judging someone is a wise and biblical act? Biblically, yes.
I believe that most all of us, not just those who are Christians, have been exposed to a very impure type of judgment that is heavily rooted in people (I know I am guilty of this) wanting to be superior instead of truly wanting to help. The way that Jesus judged was to help. Often times he was honest and soft spoken to the sinner yet harsh with the religious leaders who should have known better… have we gotten this method backwards?
In my own life I have been molded by people who have judged me. Whether it is a teacher scoring my test or a coach critiquing my game, judgment that came from people who had my good in mind has been eternally beneficial. It is the phrase “had my good in mind” that sets apart righteous judgment and sinful judgment. So be careful when you judge others lives and be wise how you speak so that the truth of the gospel shines in the dark chambers of sin. I believe true biblical judgment is not nasty and mean with domineering intentions as the driving force of criticism. Instead biblical judgment is true, collaborative, and gentle with eternal intentions in mind.
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. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
- Galatians 6:1-3
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ga 6:1–3). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.