Do We have the Right to Judge Others?
“Don’t judge others, or you will be judged. You will be judged in the same way that you judge others, and the amount you give to others will be given to you. Why do you notice the little piece of dust in your friend’s eye, but you don’t notice the big piece of wood in your own eye? How can you say to your friend, ‘Let me take that little piece of dust out of your eye’? Look at yourself! You still have that big piece of wood in your own eye. You hypocrite! First, take the wood out of your own eye. Then you will see clearly to take the dust out of your friend’s eye.” - Matthew 7:1-5
These words of Jesus are misinterpreted by people to prohibit all forms of judgment. Jesus is not teaching that we are to abandon all of our critical discernment. But He is warning us the danger if we do judge others in an unrighteous way is, “You will be judged in the same way.” Jesus exposes our tendency to see small faults in others while we cannot see them in ourselves. We must see and correct our own faults before criticizing others.
There is a Christian way and an evil way in judging others. It is all about our attitude when we do it. Is the judgement with an evil intent to hurt or to think we are better than others? Or is it out of sincere love because we care about their souls? One evil way is to think, “they are going to go to hell for murder and I am glad I have never done that.” When we want to tell others what they are doing wrong out of love, it shows we truly care what happens to them.
That is why it is important to correct fellow believers if they sin. We can do it without judging them. In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus tells us how to do it, “go and tell him in private what he did wrong. If he listens to you, you have helped that person to be your brother or sister again. But if he refuses to listen, go to him again and take one or two other people with you. ‘Every case may be proved by two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen to the church, then treat him like a person who does not believe in God or like a tax collector.”
Prayer of the day:
Dear heavenly Father,
Help us not to judge others in an evil way but in a loving way. When we do it in a loving way, it shows them that we care. Give us the wisdom to show love to others and not with an evil intent to hurt others because some forms of judgment are mean and unloving. We need You to open our minds to this type of sin. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!