If you are following this blog, you should have seen the first post in this series called Recognizing Sin. This is the second part of the series concerning Judging Righteous Judgment.
This is going to be a very hard topic for some people. Some people feel very strongly about judging others, for good reason. It something that we as Christians must be very careful about. You can do serious damage to a relationship if you approach judgment from the wrong way. Sometimes you just can’t avoid that all – no matter how hard you try – simply because some people are more sensitive than others. But today, we’re going to look at some passages and see what the Bible actually has to say about judgment.
So let’s get into it. What is judgment? What does it mean to judge. (If you haven’t noticed, I like to give the Webster definition of certain words just to find a good neutral starting point).
Webster defines the verb judge as this: to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises, or to determine or pronounce after inquiry and deliberation. Pretty solid definition if you ask me.
Also, before we get too far into this, I’d also like to point out the Greek word that is commonly used for “judge”
Krinō – G2919
Which can mean either to determine, resolve, or decree, but also is used to mean to condemn or sentence.
This is the same word that is used in both of the following passages that we are going to analyze a bit.
For most people, the first thing that comes to mind when talking about judgment is Matthew 7:1
Do not judge, that you not be judged.
And for most people it stops there. Which may be okay for most people, since most of the time people are just concerned about feeling good about themselves. It’s simple human nature to want to feel good about the way we are living our lives. Nobody likes being told that they are wrong.
But let’s continue reading in verse 2.
For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
It is so greatly important here to realize the context. Jesus is not speaking about all types of judgment, but specifically hypocritical judgment. You can see this clearly emphasized in verse 5.
Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Again, Jesus doesn’t say “Remove the beam from your eye and then ignore the speck in your brother’s eye.” He is talking about hypocritical or self-righteous judgment.
The other key point I’d like to make here is in reference to John 7:24.
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
This again is Jesus speaking here. As we saw in Matthew 7:1, Jesus doesn’t condemn all types of judgment. Otherwise, He would be contradicting himself in John 7:24, and we know that isn’t the case.
According to Jesus’ words here in the gospel of John, we as Christians actually are supposed to judge – but we are to judge righteous judgment. We cannot judge based on our own opinions or whatever man believes to be right. We must look to the Bible as the basis for judgment, and help not only ourselves but each other live our lives in a way that is pleasing to God.
We are to follow the example and instruction that we find in Matthew 5:16 and Galatians 6:1.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
If we see someone who is struggling with sin, we are supposed to help that person overcome that thing – in a spirit of gentleness. We are to be the light shining before men. But in order to do that, we must first JUDGE or DETERMINE what sin that person has in their life, address that sin with them, and then follow the necessary steps in repentance. If we don’t judge, we can’t help, and they may be forever lost!
While judging is a sensitive topic for a lot of people, it is important to remember that as Christians, we are commanded to judge by Jesus Christ, but to make sure we stay clear of hypocritical and self-righteous judgment. We must also keep in mind that we are supposed to help others and come from a place of love and gentleness.
As always, thank you for reading! My hope is that you can take this information and use it for your own knowledge. If you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to comment or contact directly!