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  • Writer's pictureLisa Metzger

Judge Not! Should Christians Judge?

"Judge not" is a common a catch phrase. Should Christians judge or show mercy? Is it possible to do both?

Some Christians want so badly to fit in with the world that they spew the "judge not" catch phrase at the first sign of another Christian spiritual correcting or making a judgment. Some seek love and acceptance from the world, claiming that they are supposedly attempting to win some to Jesus through their silence & tolerance. But did Jesus do that? No, Jesus was offensive. The world HATED Him! He loved people, but He also rebuked and corrected those who were in need of correction.

Scripture shows us that spiritual men make judgments about ALL THINGS (2 Corinthians 2:15) and that we are still to rebuke (Prov. 24:24,25) and expose sin (Eph. 5:11) and make righteous judgments (John 7:24) in love. Shocking! We should not desire to be so much like the world that they love us as their own (John 15: 18, 19). All this needs to be done in love, but done nonetheless!

"He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,” Him the people will curse; Nations will abhor him. But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, And a good blessing will come upon them.” Proverbs 24:24-25

Check out the below resources for additional information and Scriptural clarification!

Correction isn’t Condemnation

"Judge not, that you be not judged...For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged. ” (Matthew 7:1)

But what did Jesus really mean here? Jesus did not prohibit the judgment of others. He only requires that our judgment be completely fair, and that we only judge others by a the SAME STANDARD we would also like to be judged by.

Righteous Judgment

"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Matthew 7:1-5

In our society of so called "tolerance," we are often struck with an opposition of people who cry that we have no right to judge them. In fact, I've even heard many go so far as to claim that "Jesus never judged people; He even taught that we are not to judge!" Strangely enough, they will quote Matthew 7:1 in attempts to convince others that Jesus has condemned all judging.

In the first two words of this passage, Jesus does tells us to "Judge not..." But these two words have been perverted and twisted to teach that when one calls the actions of another error and expresses that continuance in such ways will condemn the soul, that individual is judging, which is supposedly "condemned" in the Bible. But from the context of this passage, what judging is forbidden? Is it judging that makes a distinction between right and wrong? Is there never a time and place for seeing and reprimanding a fault?

If we take the view that judging is completely and totally forbidden, then that would make the doctrinal and moral purity of the church impossible to maintain. This would violate other teachings and divine examples that Christ has revealed in His word (see: Matthew 7:15; John 5:30; 7:24). It would commit us to neutrality and that is the very opposite of the stance Christ wants us to take. The rest of this article HERE!

The bottom line is that God is not a God of confusion. He does not tell us not to judge and then flip flop and tell us to judge. He requires that we make righteous judgments, using the same standard by which we would want to be judged. Let us make righteous judgments, balancing JUSTICE & MERCY under the direction of the Holy Spirit, and the instruction of the Word of God. And when you hear the "judge not" catchphrase next time you call out sin, remember...

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." John 15:18-19

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