You have probably heard a lot of sermons about judging others. In fact, Jesus’ thoughts on the matter are found within one of His most famous teachings – The Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew chapters 5-7. “Judge not, that you be not judged,” Jesus said. (Matt. 7:1) Many times people will use Jesus’ words to say things like “only God can judge me” when they’re choosing to walk apart from Him, as if it is a justification to continue in sin. Does that mean no one can call out the sin of another, ever? Of course not!
The first and most important thing to remember is this: When Jesus said “Judge not” He was referring to salvation, not sanctification. No one except the Lord has the right to judge who goes to heaven or hell. However, when it comes to sin and strongholds within the body of Christ, judgement should be used for discernment and restoration, not condemnation and conviction. There are some ground rules for “judging” another person because many times the act of judgement is based on our own shortcomings and issues, which is the “plank” in our own eyes, rather than the actual sin of another.
“Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged”?
Paul restated what Jesus said when he wrote, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” (Romans 2:1) It’s easy to see someone else’s issues and problems without having a clear perspective of our own, however, that doesn’t mean you can never speak up. The fact is that the spirit and the flesh will always battle within you. And at some point, you need someone older, wiser and more mature in Christ to come alongside you and show you a better way- we all do!
How you judge, why you judge, what you judge and the standard you use when looking at the sin or strongholds of another Christian makes the difference between righteous judgments and being self-righteous and judgmental. Acting like no one can ever address your issues with sin is part of Satan’s strategy to get God’s people to cast off restraint and reject the authority of godly leadership. We’ve all fallen short of God’s glory- as you already know!
Is is Biblical for Christians to Judge Another Person?
Here are some important aspects of “judging” to keep in mind:
- You’re not better than another person just because your problems are different.
- When the tables are turned and someone speaks up about your issues, you may need to receive correction and you’ll be challenged to do it with humility.
- Before you correct another, your own sin and strongholds should be addressed.
Paul frequently called out sin within the churches during his ministry, according to the Word of God. In 1 Cor. 5:11-13 he wrote this, “[Do] not to keep company with any man who is called a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner. Do not even eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But God judges those who are outside. Therefore “put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”
This doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, but it is a strong caution about how you proceed when you think there’s a sin or stronghold in the life of another believer, because as Jesus said, “With the measure you use, it will be measured again for you.” (Matt. 7:2) What someone is really saying when they claim that “only God can judge me” is that they know what they’re doing is wrong and they’re unwilling to change. Allowing God to transform you into a new creation is often a difficult process of sanctification whereby the spirit and the flesh continually wage war, but God is faithful. Whether you’re on the receiving end of a corrective word or if you’re the one giving it- remember, lead with love.
Thought for today: If Only God Can Judge You, You’ll Lose the Battle of the Flesh
Here’s the thing- you may be right, and they may be wrong, but how can you know that someone has not already repented and confessed their sin to the Lord? How can you know at what point in the process they are in their sanctification and restoration? You can’t, because, “A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.” (Prov. 21:2) Being the judge and jury is too much for the feeble, flawed human mind. So, now what? “Blessed are the merciful,” Jesus said. “For they shall obtain mercy.” (Matt. 5:7) Yes, judgement can be a merciful act, when done with the permission of the Holy Spirit, so before you take any steps toward addressing the sin or strongholds of another, make sure you’ve spent enough time on your knees! Remember, Satan wants to hide sin so he can exploit you. The Lord wants to expose sin so He can rescue you! Wherever you fall within that- remember, if it’s darkness, Satan has legal access to it. Stay in the light, as the Lord is in the light!
Dig Deeper into the Word About Combatting Satan’s Strategies:
- “Three Worship Wars: The Battle Against Satan”
- “Should Christians Judge Others? Or “Judge Not”?
- “You Won the Battle, But What Did You Lose?”
- “5 Tips for Using Scripture as a Defense Against Satan”