Judge Righteously

“Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1). This has to be one of the most abused passages in existence from the teachings of Jesus. It is used to justify and rationalize every perverse behavior known to humanity. Further, it is the excuse people use to forbid anyone from making honest, reasonable observations about wrong behavior (Matthew 7:20).

Accurate Bible understanding cannot occur without taking the context into account. Matthew 7:2-6 teaches against unrighteous judgment; it not a wholesale condemnation against judgment of any and every kind. In fact, if that were the case, it would flatly contradict the teaching in John 7:24 where Jesus says: “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” How can a person claim that Jesus said we cannot judge when Jesus said we have to judge? Further, this is a command and not a request, suggestion or idle musing. It is demanded of the Christian that he or she judge and to do so with right, proper, correct and biblical judgment.

Have you ever considered this: we must make judgments in order to evangelize the lost. When a child of God approaches a person to open up a dialogue about the wonderful hope we have through the Gospel, we have implicitly made a judgment: that person may be lost. Now, a wise member of the Lord’s church will measure his or her words (Colossians 4:6) and use an approach appropriate to the potential Christian (Jude 22-23). Further, when we lift a fallen brother or sister (Galatians 6:1-2), we judge their state to be lost (often by their own admission); we concur that their continued lifestyle in sin will condemn them (Romans 6:23).

The absurdity of the “never-judge” position leaves a person judging that no one should ever judge; that is not right thinking. You must judge; so, judge righteously and use the Standard by which we will be judged: the Bible.