Table of Contents
When it comes to judging others, there are two types mentioned in the Bible:
The First Type of Judging
This type is where a person judges in order to look down or belittle another person as if they do not need God’s mercy. The apostle wrote, “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge” (James 4:11). This is hypocritical judgement that the Bible forbids, as we are all sinners who are only saved by grace.
Jesus clearly taught: “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).
This kind of judging is based on pride and self. Paul taught, “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?” (Romans 2:1-3 also 14:10).
The Second Type of Judging
This type is the one that a Christian is supposed to exercise with careful discernment. “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). This type of judging is based on love for the other person and spiritual truth. Paul taught, “but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:15-16 also 1 Corinthians 2:14-15).
This judgement is also a way to discern what is a good behavior to follow as an example (Philippians 3:17). This judgement would also be appropriate if a believer sees another believer sinning, it is his brotherly duty to lovingly lead the sinner back to Christ (Matthew 18:15-17).
Good judgement judges the sin, not the sinner. An example of the wrong kind of judgement may be that a person sees someone smoking, and since they don’t smoke, they judge that the smoker is a bad person. On the contrary, a righteous judgement would be that someone sees a person smoking and decides that smoking may not be the best choice but they still see the smoker as a valuable person and may pray for an opportunity and make loving efforts to help that person in all humility.
“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment”.John 7:24
In His service,