Judgment-Free Zone

“Don’t judge me!” “You’re too judgmental!” “What’s wrong for you might be OK for me!”

I just mentioned a few comments about judging that I’ve heard through passaging time. Today, I want to break down this thing about “judging,” especially regarding one person judging another. God,of course, is the ultimate judge and He will judge the alive and the dead for the deeds they have done in their body during their lifetime.

Judgment-free zone

We want people to feel accepted as they are. After all, that’s how God accepts us.

The LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart

1 Samuel 16:7

So, we don’t want to judge them. We might judge others in one or more areas. Some examples include:

  • Appearance.
  • Socio-economic standing.
  • Problems (past, present, and future).
  • Mistakes (past, present, and future).
  • Neighborhood.
  • Type of dwelling (if any).
  • Etc.

God doesn’t judge by outward appearance, so we shouldn’t either. Right?

Judge Not

A well-known scripture passage teaches how we should handle judging others:

Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Matthew 7:1

Jesus teaches that, if we judge others, God will judge us by the same standard. Isn’t that powerful?

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Matthew 7:2

So, if for whatever reason, you’re intolerant of others, God will deal with you according to that same intolerance. Jesus illustrates this in the servant’s account. The man received forgiveness of his debt, but did not extend the same mercy towards those who owed him money. Consequently, the master delivered the servant to the tormentors.

Guiding principles

Thus far, I want you to understand the concept of reciprocity regarding your relationship with God:

  • Do you want forgiveness? You must forgive.
  • Do you want acceptance? Do not judge.
  • Do you want to receive? Give.
  • Do you want to find God? Seek God.
  • Do you want forbearance? Forbear.

You can judge others. In fact, human nature may make you inclined to do so. “I’m better than they because…”. Look again at another account give by Jesus:

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

Luke 18:11-12

The Pharisee judged the publican. He was thankful that he was better than the other. The publican, however, did not judge, and he became justified with God.

The publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as [his] eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

Luke 18:13

Judging one another

You don’t want others to judge you. Neither do I. We should leave the judging to God who sees everything about us, even our deepest, darkest secrets.

I need to warn you, however, that a place for human judgment exists. It must exist in order to maintain order within the body of Christ.

Jesus taught as follows:

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

But if he will not hear [thee, then] take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell [it] unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

Matthew 18:15-17

Order in the church requires that one or more believers judge another.

Apostle Paul judged

WIthin the bounds of the church, we must judge each other. Apostle Paul affirms this in the case of the fornicators in the local assembly:

For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, [concerning] him that hath so done this deed,

1 Corinthians 5:3

Apostle Paul judged the fornicators and commanded that the church turn them over to Satan.

Judge righteous judgment

Jesus debunks the myth that we should not judge others. We must, however, exercise caution regaring our standards and motives while judging:

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

John 7:24

In summary, here’s what I want you to know about judging others:

  • You are not better than anyone else.
  • God will judge you by your standard for judging others.
  • If you want leniency, be lenient.
  • When you judge, you must judge righteously.
  • Judgment is necessary, if not mandatory, within the Christian community.
  • Judge yourself before judging others.

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