Is It Right to Judge?
Writer: James L. Melton | 1999 | www.Biblebelievers.com/jmelton/Judging.html
How many times have you heard someone whine, "Judge not, that ye be not judged?" This verse of Scripture from Matthew 7:1Judge not, that ye be not judged.Matthew 7 verse 1 is often quoted out of context by people who are terrified at the idea of someone preaching against sin or pointing out any form of error in anyone, especially in themselves.
As I stood in a voting line one day I overheard a woman justifying her foolish choice for president by saying, "Well, we aren't supposed to judge." Imagine that! Choosing NOT to judge a political candidate on election day! No wonder our nation is in such a mess!
As for Matthew 7:1Judge not, that ye be not judged.Matthew 7 verse 1, the context
(verses 1-5(verse 1) Judge not, that ye be not judged.
(verse 2) For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
(verse 3) And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
(verse 4) Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam [is] in thine own eye?
(verse 5) Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.Matthew 7 verses 1-5) allows judging after you have first judged YOURSELF. Jesus did not make a blanket statement against judgment. He simply pointed out a RULE for judging.
Now, the word "judge" in its various forms (judgeth, judging, judgment, judges, etc) is found over 700 times in God's word. One whole book of the Bible is titled "Judges" for it was written at a time when God raised up judges to lead His people.
As we are about to see, God EXPECTS His people to judge. In fact, you are sinning against God if you refuse to judge! (Read that again, please)
God EXPECTS His people to judge. In fact, you are sinning against God if you refuse to judge!
God Expects Us to Judge
The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. Psalm 37:30
A righteous person will talk of judgment. He will not REFUSE to judge. He will talk judgment.
Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph. Amos 5:14-15
How can you hate the evil and love the good if you refuse to judge? You can't. You are SINNING when you refuse to judge.
Our generation is well described in Isaiah 59:8:
The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.
People have refused to judge, so there is no peace.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:10Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and [that] there be no divisions among you; but [that] ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.1 Corinthians 1 verse 10 to ". . . be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." Why would Paul make such a statement if judging is wrong? In 1 Corinthians 2:15 Paul says,
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
Judging is not a sin; judging is a characteristic of being a spiritual person! Satan has been lying to us, hoping that we will NOT judge, because he knows that the right kind of judgment PLEASES God and betters our lives and Christian service.
Someone says, "But should we judge PEOPLE?" Yes, we certainly should. Paul actually REBUKES the Corinthians for NOT judging:
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? 1 Corinthians 6:1-5
If judging is wrong, then Paul needs to confess and repent for misleading these Christians! He clearly told them to JUDGE PEOPLE.
If judging people is wrong, how can we obey Romans 16:17-18(verse 17) Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
(verse 18) For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.Romans 16 verses 17-18? 2 Corinthians 6:17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you.2 Corinthians 6 verse 17? 2 Timothy 3:5-6(verse 5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
(verse 6) For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts.2 Timothy 3 verses 5-6?
1 John 4:1Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.1 John 4 verse 1? Friend, if judging is wrong, then God has contradicted Himself and His words cannot be trusted!
Notice Malachi 3:18:
Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.
WOW! Does that sound like it is wrong to judge?
What about Revelation 2:2?
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.
Why would the Lord be pleased with these Christians if judging was wrong? Is it not impossible to find someone a "liar" without judging them?
If the Bible is clear about anything, it is clear about the importance of judging on a regular basis in order to properly serve and honor God. To ignore this fact is to ignore all of the Scripture just presented and also the rest of the Bible. God expects us to judge.
God's Rules for Judging
Now I do not wish to imply that we should spend all of our time judging. Sometimes people judge when they have no business doing so. In John 7:24Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.John 7 verse 24 Jesus tells us to judge RIGHTEOUS judgment. This can only be done by following the rules that God has established in His word. Here follow seven good rules from Scripture: