Print Friendly, PDF & Email

We are a judgmental society. Everyone is quick to express their opinion on just about any topic. Civil discourse seems dead these days. Our world riots over acronyms and phrases that few people even take the time to understand. Let’s see if we can plow through these issues and search for God’s opinion on Judgment.

(Matthew 7:1-2)1NIV New International Version Translations – “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Most Christians remember Jesus’s comments in the Gospel of Matthew about becoming judgmental. Unfortunately, like much of Scripture, there is a tendency to pick and choose the verses we like. In Matthew 7, the passage starts off OK. “Do not Judge, or you will be judged.” The important part, however, comes next. Jesus states you will be judged “AS YOU JUDGE OTHERS.”  And that changes the perspective on judgment. Judging motives are impossible because we cannot see each other’s hearts. What we see are visible actions, but not motives. For example, if someone’s actions or behaviors harm others, infringe upon their rights, or violate laws, then others may have a right to judge and hold them accountable for their actions. In such cases, we have a responsibility to intervene or take action to prevent harm and protect ourselves or others.

On the other hand, judgment is subjective, and people’s beliefs and values can differ. Therefore, Jesus is calling us to approach any judgment with empathy, an open mind, and a willingness to understand different perspectives. In some cases, it may be more appropriate to refrain from judgment and instead focus on promoting understanding, compassion, and support. We should never forget that humanity was created with “free will.” Therefore, what we observe in other people are their actions made by their conscious choices. Someone’s behavior is nothing more than a reflection of their personal character or morality. But Jesus goes on further to really establish the boundaries of judgmentalism.

(Matthew 7:3-5) – “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

What then, could that plank in one’s eye look like?

  • Poor judgment often involves a failure to consider the potential consequences of one’s actions.
  • If someone repeatedly ignores advice or feedback from others, it may be an indication of poor judgment.
  • Acting on impulse or anger without taking the time to consider the potential consequences can also be a sign of poor judgment.
  • And the granddaddy of them all, humanity’s inability to learn from mistakes. When we see someone make the same mistakes or fail to learn from past experiences, it may be a sign of poor judgment.

Therefore, before anyone launches a tirade of insulting comments against someone’s poor decision-making, it might be worth reviewing what a good decision-making process looks like.

  • Are the issues clearly identified, and are the problems defined well enough to know all relevant information related to their situations, including any potential risks or benefits that exist?
  • Are different options available or have personal biases filtered out solutions that could potentially address the problem? There may be both short-term and long-term consequences to any options.
  • Have you evaluated both sides of an issue and considered how they align with your goals and values? Remember, your goals and values should also align with God’s Truth. You might want to reflect on God’s Word for His perspective.
  • Once a decision is made, are you willing to change your mind if new information becomes available? For example, if the motives of someone’s heart become visible to you, can you change your mind?
  • Do you periodically re-evaluate the outcome of a decision? Overall, poor judgment can manifest in a variety of ways, but it often involves a lack of consideration for consequences, ignoring feedback, impulsivity, and an inability to learn from mistakes.

One of the basic rules of interpretation of the Bible is to take the passage in context with all of Scripture. In other words, you shouldn’t simply lift a phrase or sentence out of the book and read it by itself. Jesus and His disciples often passed judgment on others. Jesus often called out “false prophets.”

(Matthew 7:15) – “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.”

The Apostle Paul was also quite judgmental. There can be sins that no one should tolerate. Here is one that was quite troubling to Paul.

(1 Corinthians 5:1) – “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife.”

Jesus called false teachers a lot of nasty things. Hypocrites, blind guides, white sepulchers2Whited sepulchers are whitewashed tombs. Their outside is beautiful and decorated with flowers and monuments, but their inside is filth., serpents, and even a generation of vipers. In Matthew 7:15, Jesus said, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”. In Romans 16:17 Paul tells us that we are to avoid those in the church who cause divisions. It is good advice to apply to all those who are divisive and over-judgmental. Paul named names of those who were in the wrong in 1 Timothy 1:18-20; 2 Timothy 2:15-18; and 2 Timothy 4:14-15.

The term “judgmental” refers to someone who is overly critical or harsh in their assessment of others. A judgmental person is someone who tends to form strong opinions or make negative evaluations of others based on limited information or without considering different perspectives. They may be quick to judge others based on superficial or irrelevant factors such as appearance, background, or beliefs, and often fail to show empathy or understanding towards those who differ from them. Being judgmental can lead to negative attitudes, prejudices, and stereotypes that can harm relationships and limit personal growth. It’s important to approach others with an open mind and a willingness to understand different perspectives, rather than resorting to judgment or criticism. However, God never asks us to ignore sin or tolerate sin, in others and especially in ourselves.


  • What can you tell about a person who will not participate in civil discourse?
    • Ideas to Explore: They lack knowledge of the subject. Their hearts are darkened by some unknown force or experience. Their true motives are hidden.
  • Does God expect you to accept everything that someone tells you (e.g., your government)
    • Ideas to Explore: (Acts 5:29). When God’s commands conflict with the commands of human authorities, we must choose to follow the higher authority. Notwithstanding this exception, however, the general command of Scripture is to submit ourselves to government authorities. How do you personally handle the conflict?
  • What is the difference between silence and activism?
    • Ideas to Explore: Is it OK to be silent when we see something against God’s will? What is the fine line between being a good citizen and a protestor?
  • How does God respond when He sees us sin?
    • Ideas to Explore: Is God patient? What gets God angry? What is God’s motivation, His goal in judgment?



  • 1
    NIV New International Version Translations
  • 2
    Whited sepulchers are whitewashed tombs. Their outside is beautiful and decorated with flowers and monuments, but their inside is filth.