You’ve probably heard it a thousand times – “don’t judge me”, “don’t be so judgmental”, “get off your high horse”. Does the Bible say we are supposed to judge? – you bet it does…

“For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.”  1 Corinthians 11:29–32

One of the most misunderstood, and misused verses in the Bible is Matthew 7:1 “Judge not that ye be not judged“.

What about the rest of the verse, and the context of the verse? Here it is: Matthew 7:1–5 “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

“Judging” has become such a bad word. But the Bible actually teaches that we are supposed to “judge” ourselves first and foremost. As Christians, we must first examine ourselves, and fix what’s wrong, biblically. “Cast out the beam out of thine own eye”. The highest priority here is the heart! The heart is the heart of the matter. The issues you have in your life, spring out of your heart (Proverbs 4:23)

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart…”

As a parent, is it wrong to correct your children for using a bad word, or watching something on TV that they shouldn’t watch, or correcting any other wrong behavior that they shouldn’t be engaged in? Isn’t that “judging”?

Why is that so many adult Christians justify ungodly behavior, but when they are confronted about it by another believer, they are so quick to say, “don’t judge me” – or better yet, they misapply Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that ye be not judged”.

What about – Galatians 6:1 “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

How is a spiritual Christian supposed to restore a brother or sister in Christ, without first confronting them about their sin or faults?

First, the spiritual Christian must “judge” himself, or “consider” himself…and remove anything that would be hypocritical. The spirit of meekness (strength under control) is standing on the truth of God’s word, with Grace.

Be sure that you have your facts verified, and straight. If you don’t, then you are in the wrong! Then it is time to confront that brother or sister in Christ about their sin or fault, with meekness. However, you can be sure that most of the time….you will be accused of being “too judgmental”.

Remember, that “a man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still“. How you approach a brother or sister in Christ, is just as important, if not more so, than what you are approaching them about.

So many Christians today want to have faith on their own terms. But the truth of God’s Word is often inconvenient.

As a final note, we need to realize that there is a difference between a newly saved person, that is trying to follow Christ, and might be struggling with sin, and the Christian that has been saved for some time, and knows better.

The new Christian needs truth, encouragement, and prayer….the backsliding Christian needs truth, encouragement, prayer, and loving but firm biblical rebuke.

Titus 2:11–15 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”

How are we going to speak, exhort, and rebuke with all authority, if we don’t first rightly judge ourselves, then humbly and spiritually approach a Christian “offender”.

Judge yourself generously, judge others graciously. – that my friend, is biblical.

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Daren T. Dilts, Pastor

Mountain View Baptist Church, Hesperia, CA.