How many times have we heard people say those words, “DON”T JUDGE ME”?  Many of those times, it is from people doing something, or living a lifestyle, that they probably should not be doing.  To say, “Don’t judge me” is really an improper use of Matthew 7:1, which says “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”  In the context in which it is used, we understand that we are not to make rash judgments, or to try to judge that which is not open and clear to us.  The Lord goes on to illustrate this in Matthew 7:3-5, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 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? 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.”  Certainly we will not have the proper discernment to approach someone for their small sins if we are living in gross sin ourselves.  The instruction here is plain, “first cast the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”  It’s not that we are not to judge at all, but we are to JUDGE OURSELVES FIRST, so then we can make a proper judgment of the behavior of our fellow Christians.

In fact, we Christians have the responsibility to judge each other.  John 7:24 says, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”  In light of the Word of God, we are to make impartial and well-informed judgments about the behavior of others.  1 Corinthians 5:12 tells us, as believers, we have the responsibility to judge one another.  That says, “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?”

So, what does it mean to judge?  Let’s look at Galatians 6:1, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”  If we notice that our fellow believer has been ‘overtaken by a fault’, or has allowed sin in his or her life, we judge that person’s behavior as sinful, we approach him about his sin, and then we work to ‘restore such an one in the spirit of meekness.’  I want to be very emphatic about this.  If I should see my brother in Christ, for example, being unfaithful to his wife, I do him an incredible dis-service if I do not judge that as sinful, go to him and point out his sin, and urge him to stop, repent, and confess his sin to the Lord.  I cannot sit idly by and say, “I have no right to judge him”, when in fact; I have the responsibility to judge him!  All believers share that same responsibility.  Our desire should not be to condemn this person, but to help restore him to the Lord so that this dishonoring behavior will stop.

What should our attitudes be concerning someone judging us?  To all my brothers and sisters in Christ, I say, “JUDGE ME.”

  • If there is something in my life that is bringing dishonor to the Lord…JUDGE ME.
  • If my language is harsh and defiling…JUDGE ME.
  • If you see me mistreat someone…JUDGE ME.
  • If my behavior contradicts the clear teaching of scripture…JUDGE ME.

Judge that what I am doing is wrong and then come talk to me about it. In love, tell me that I am dishonoring the Lord with my life and encourage me to stop. This is one of the precious beauties of being fellow-members of the body of Christ. We try to minister to the needs of each other, even if we have to correct them. In Psalm 139:23-24, David asked the Lord to judge him so that he could properly judge himself. If we would do that more often, others would not need to judge us. (178.9)