JUDGING: WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT IT?

Many folks take a position against judging, somehow believing it to be prohibited in the Bible. They believe all judging is condemned by Jesus. This assumption is based on a misunderstanding of Matthew 7:1 where Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” In the context, Jesus is talking about harsh, unrighteous judgment. Furthermore, the context shows clearly that all judging is not prohibited. Beginning in Matthew 7:15 Jesus specifically addresses how to judge whether one is a false teacher or not! Notice a few verses about judging and see for yourself that the Bible teaches that we all have a duty to judge.

1 Corinthians 10:15

“I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say.”

1 Corinthians 11:13

Judge among yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?”

Acts 4:19

“But Peter and John answered and said unto them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than unto God, you judge.’”

John 7:24

Judge not according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.

In this passage we are told how to judge others. We are not to judge someone based on appearance, but rather we are to make “righteous judgments” which is a reference to judging based on what they say and do (their actions). Many people are guilty of making unrighteous judgments. This was condemned by Jesus when he confronted the Pharisees.

 Matthew 23:23

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. (KJV)

Jesus did not condemn them for making judgments. Rather, he condemned them for omitting the weightier matters of the law such as “judgment” and said that it was something that they “ought to have done” and not left “undone”.

1 Corinthians 6:4-5

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?

In this passage Paul tells the Christians at Corinth how to resolve certain types of problems that from time to time arise in the church. He said that they ought to be able to use even the “least esteemed” to make judgments of what to do. He said that surely there must be someone in the congregation who is considered “wise” and who could make a judgment that would resolve the problem at hand.

 Philippians 1:9

And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

Life is full of decisions or judgments. Paul prayed that our love would “abound” or be exhibited more and more as we gain knowledge and as we from day to day make various judgments. In all such judgments, love should be obvious to all as the motivating factor in Christians.

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