What does Jesus Say about Judging Others?

Our society has become extreme in its desire not to tell people they are wrong. We don’t have sins – we have issues. We don’t commit evil deeds – we make mistakes. But this tendency not to judge goes beyond moral and ethical issues. A couple of years ago I heard on the radio that in California, school children who answer 5 when asked what 2+2 is are not to be told, “That’s wrong.” The teacher is to reply with, “Well – that’s an answer. Can you think of another one?”

Why don’t we want to tell children when they are wrong? Because we don’t want to fracture their psyche? Because we don’t want to teach them to judge? Because we are afraid to judge? Probably all of these, but think about that last one. We are afraid to judge any wrongs — especially moral ones.

And in this professed reluctance to judge, we are quite hypocritical. If you watch the moralists on daytime TV talk shows, you see this. They will say, “Don’t judge others” over and over again. But those same hosts judge others repeatedly. They judge politicians, families, religious people – they especially judge Christians – all the while reciting the mantra: “Don’t judge others.”

But it’s not just daytime TV that preaches this tolerance. I’ve heard good Christian people say it’s wrong to judge others. Someone is gambling away the paycheck. Well – don’t judge. Someone is cheating on his wife. Well – don’t judge. Someone has stolen something from his employer. Well – don’t judge.

Why would Christians fall into this error? One reason is the they don’t understand the passage addressed in the sermon attached to this post.

2 thoughts on “What does Jesus Say about Judging Others?

  1. I think the Bible means something different when it talks about judging others. I think it does warn us about that repeatedly – Romans 14, James 4, this passage. I think the Bible would call this “warning them of the judgment to come”. We don’t judge the people, but we tell them that God is going to, and tell them about the standard He uses in doing it. Bad judging is when you see some Christian do something you don’t like, and then start trying to figure out their heart based on the action. “I’m not sure he’s really a Christian…”

  2. Yeah — and it’s a real problem if I say, “I’m not sure he’s really a Christian…” and turn away from him rather than turning toward him, helping him with the speck. I think that when we judge in a non-hypocritical manner we save others a lot of pain.

    It fits with 1 Corinthians 11:31.

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