How Should Christians Respond When Someone Is Offended By What They Perceive To Be Judgment
A good rule of thumb is to believe that a persons intentions are good, until proven otherwise. Colossians 3:12-13 encourages that as we are one body in Christ, we are to lovingly seek reconciliation with one another:
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
And Jesus warns in Matthew 6:14-15: For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Romans 12:17-21 commands us to never repay evil for evil. Instead, we are to be a people that are quick to seek reconciliation, quick to listen, and quick to forgive , remembering just how much Christ has forgiven us .
What Does Judge Not Really Mean
Dont you dare judge me!
In our society today, and in Christianity at large, we seem to be obsessed with not judging others. At least, were pretty obsessed with not wanting anyone to judge us. Im not so sure were really that good at returning the favor.
We throw around verses like Judge not that ye be not judged and interpret them to mean that no one should tell us what were doing is wrong. After all the Bible says not to judge.
But this is a very narrow view of the concept of judging. Were ignoring lots of other Scriptures that say we are, in fact, to judge, and were missing about 80% of the point.
Wait a minute the Bible says to judge and not to judge? Ha! A contradiction!
No, just a confusion about the word judge, which can mean a few different things. The Greek word kino can mean to choose, to esteem, to have an opinion, to determine, to pass judgment, or to rule.
If were going to set an example for our kids and students in this area, wed better understand exactly what the Bible has to say about judging others. So lets look at a few principles.
To Judge Or Not To Judge: That Is The Question
So, what did Jesus mean when He said not to judge others, if He Himself was telling people how to conduct their lives? There are other sayings of Jesus that clarify what Jesus objected to when people judged each other:
“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
So, it would seem that Jesus’ major concern is that people do not make snap judgments from what they guess might have happened. Many people tend to fall into this kind of judgment problem, if they are not careful to check the facts carefully. For example, one should not judge a person based upon the group to which he belongs. Not all Muslims are terrorists. Not all Christians are hypocrites. Not all atheists practice rampant immorality. Notice that the verse does not tell us not to judge at all, but to judge according to righteousness. If we cannot verify the truth about an accusation, we should keep our mouths shut. For this reason, you will not find any personal judgments about others on this website. This does not mean that we will not dispute the facts or opinions expressed by certain individuals. However, such critiques are not personal attacks, but are usually related to a defense of the Christian faith.
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Bible Verses About Judging Righteously
We are to judge, but we are not to judge by appearance. This is something that we all struggle with and we have to pray for help with. Whether we are at school, work, the grocery store, etc. We like to judge people by what we see, what they are wearing, what they are buying and this should not be. We see a poor person and think he got that way because he was an addict. We have to continually pray for help with the spirit of judgmentalism.
15. John 7:24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.
16. Leviticus 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.
How Do We Know When It Is Okay To Judge Someone
In 1 Corinthians 5, Paul is very clear as he writes to the church about who we are and are not supposed to judge.
For what business is it of mine to judge outsiders ? Do you not judge those who are within the church ? God alone sits in judgment on those who are outside .
We are not called to judge people who are not self-proclaiming Christians. God is the judge of all and will judge those outside the church. However, we are called to judge the sin of believers inside the church. Just a chapter prior, Paul lays out a clear mandate for what is acceptable to judge in a fellow brother or sister.
1 Corinthians 4:5 states that we must not judge the hiddenpurposes of the heart. In his article Judge Not, That You May Judge Well on Desiring God, Jon Bloom says it this way:
We must not judge the hidden . . . purposes of the heart of other Christians based on their decisions, actions, perspectives, words, or personality that concern us if those things themselves are not explicitly sinful . We must not assume sin if we suspect sin, given how biased our suspicions can be.
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The Accounts Are Settled
Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, and anyone not written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:14-15. No wonder Jesus said that we should rejoice because our names are written in the Book of Life!
Then the accounts will have been settled, and everything put in its rightful place. Sin and death are finally gone forever. Out of all the affliction and misery, and in spite of Satans deceptive power, God, by His wisdom and might, has finished His work in the bride, the martyrs, and the sheep who have been gathered to Jesus right hand. These are the ones who are written in the Book of Life and will live eternally with the Father and the Son in the new heaven and the new earth.
What Does The Bible Mean That We Are Not To Judge Others
Do not judge, or you too will be judged…Matthew 7:1
When Jesus gave this command, did He mean that we should withhold all judgment ever? Should we never say a critical word to anyone for any reason? Many people like to interpret Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:1 as meaning, “You don’t have the right to tell others they’re wrong!” The mantra “don’t judge” is probably one of the most quoted of all of Jesus’ sayingsby Christians and non-Christians alike! “Don’t judge” is practically ingrained into today’s culture.
As widely quoted as “do not judge” is, it is just as widely misused because it’s taken way out of context. The Bible is clear that we should have discernment as to what’s right and wrong, thus, judging the righteousness or morality of a situation, action, thought, or word. There’s a whole biblical book entitled “Judges,” and these Old Testament judges were appointed by God Himself . Besides, Jesus gave a direct command to “judge correctly” in John 7:24. So what was He talking about when He said, “Do not judge”?
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More Bible Verses On Judging Others
Based on all that the Bible has to say about judging others, its clear that God wants us to refrain from the practice. But as we get used to the idea of not judging others, here are some more dont judge Bible verses:
Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:9 ESV
Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. Romans 14:13 ESV
For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13 ESV
You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor. Leviticus 19:15 ESV
Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. 1 Corinthians 4:5 ESV
Judge not lest ye be judged! Let us try to remember that we dont have all the information about the next person or situation were tempted to judge.
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Sometimes Being Silent Is A Sin
3. Ezekiel 3:18-19 So when I say to a wicked person, Youre about to die, if you dont warn or instruct that wicked person that his behavior is wicked so he can live, that wicked person will die in his sin, but Ill hold you responsible for his death. If you warn the wicked person, and he doesnt repent of his wickedness or of his wicked behavior, hell die in his sin, but you will have saved your own life.
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Better Is Open Rebuke Than Hidden Love
Sometimes it is hard to rebuke someone, but a loving friend does tell us things we need to know even if it might hurt. Even though it might hurt we know that it is true and its coming from love.
23. Proverbs 27:5-6 Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
What Is Judgment Day
Judgment Day. Also known as the Final Judgment. It is the very last thing that happens before God destroys the old heaven and the old earth, which are corrupt on account of sin. Before He creates His new heaven and new earth, He has to do away with anything that could bring sin into the new creation.
The devil has just been cast into the lake of fire, where the beast and the false prophet have already been since they were defeated when Jesus returned before the beginning of the millennium. This is to be the eternal retribution for their sin and rebellion against God. Now the time has come for God to judge who is to join them in the lake of fire, and who is worthy of a place on the new earth.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10.
The thought of the end times doesn’t have to evoke fear in us. Listen to this podcast about how we can best prepare ourselves for the day when we meet Jesus!
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Judging Right And Wrong
I have received a few complaints that godandscience.org is judgmental. As stated previously, the site judges no other person’s particular morals. So, people who make the claim that Christians are judgmental are really referring to Christians’ judgment between right and wrong. However, every person on earth makes judgments between right and wrong, in order to make decisions about how to live one’s life. Of course, the reasons why people say that Christians are judgmental is because they disagree with the moral judgments we make. They, however, are not making any kind of judgment in claiming we are!
Why do Christians make moral judgments? The Bible commands people of faith to make moral judgments. The Old Testament tells us to warn those who practice wicked things to turn from their evil ways.6 Jesus asked people why they would not judge what was the right thing to do,7and instructed believers to admonish those brothers who practice sin.8Paul reprimanded the Church at Corinth for not judging sin within their assembly.9In fact, the Church is directed to condemn and remove sin from among its ranks first and foremost.10 The news media loves to point out sin committed by famous pastors and other hypocritical Christians. However, we are admonished that we need not judge individuals outside the church, since they be judged by God.11
What Does The Bible Say About Judging Others
People are always writing me saying, dont judge only God can judge. This statement is not even in the Bible. Most of the people who say that it is wrong to judge others are not unbelievers. They are people who profess to be Christians. People dont understand that they are being hypocritical because they are judging themselves.
These days people would rather allow people to go to hell than expose evil. Many people say, why are Christians so judgmental? You get judged all your life, but as soon as its about Christianity it is a problem. Judging is not sinful, but a judgmental critical heart is, which I will explain below.
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Be Quick To Believe Innocence
The first way to take great care how we judge is to be slow to pronounce guilt when evidence is scant or hearsay or ambiguous. This runs counter not only to fallen human nature, but also our media-saturated culture that encourages hair-trigger judgments. We are wise to practice something codified in our judicial system.
In the United States, when a person is accused of a legal transgression, but the evidence against him is inconclusive, our jurisprudence demands we presume his innocence until sufficient evidence can demonstrate his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Such demonstration is typically not quick or easy.
Judge With Right Judgment
How we judge others says far more about us than how we are judged by others. This is why God will judge us in the manner we judge others, not in the manner they judge us. Therefore, we must judge with right judgment . And right judgment is charitably quick to believe innocence, charitably slow to pronounce guilt, charitably redemptive when it must be, and charitably silent if at all possible.
And when in doubt, judge not.
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What About John : 7
Many people use this one verse John 8:7 to say we cant judge. You cant use this verse because it would contradict all the other verses and it has to be used in context. In context the Jewish leaders who brought the adulterous woman were probably in sin themselves and that is why Jesus was writing in the dirt. The law required that the guilty man be punished as well. It is also required that there be a witness. Not only did they have neither, but it is possible that they knew the woman was an adulterous because she committed adultery with one of them. How else would they know?
Judging And Correcting A Brother
Are we to let our brothers and sisters rebel and live wickedly without restoring them? When a Christian starts going astray we have to lovingly say something. Is it loving to watch someone walk on the road that leads to hell without saying anything? If I was on the wide road that led to hell and I died every second of me burning in hell I would hate you more and more. I would think to myself why didnt he say anything to me?
17. James 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
18. Galatians 6:1-2 Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you also wont be tempted. Carry one anothers burdens in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
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Judgment Vs Discernment In The Bible
We are called not to judge others, but to exercise discernment rooted in the knowledge of Scripture.
Jesus tells us, Judge not lest ye be judged . As should be obvious to any practicing Christian, Jesus didnt intend for this verse to obliterate our ability to judge between behavior that the Bible encourages and behavior that the Bible forbids.
Instead, Jesus wants us to follow a two-step approach when exercising sound judgment. First, were to avoid rashly judging others based on our own feelings of superiority since we all have the tendency to sin . Second, and after weve corrected our own transgressions, well have the clarity necessary to help others overcome their sins .
We must first remove the plank from our own eye by learning how to Biblically discern right from wrong.
To keep from being hypocritically judgmental, we must first focus on gaining the discernment necessary to correct our own shortcomings by rooting our judgment in the knowledge of Scripture . The discernment Christians must gain is the ability to ascertain whats true and whats false, to distinguish between what is Biblically right and wrong in all areas of life. A discerning person doesnt readily believe everything he sees or hears, but keeps his reasoning aligned with Gods Word so as walk justly and steer clear of false prophesies .
Once we learn to exercise sound judgment aligned with Scriptural mandates, we can help others remove the specks from their eyes.