What does the Bible say about judging others?
Whether you are a life-long follower of Christ or new to Team Jesus, you’ve most likely come across at least a few overly judgmental Christians. You’ve probably also asked questions such as:
- What does the Bible say about judging one another?
- What does the Bible say about condemning others?
- What does the Bible say about judging non-believers?
This week, I had the pleasure of having an interaction with one of them and it actually sent me on quite the journey through my Bible (OK, my Bible app) to validate what I knew to be correct and according to God’s word.
And what I found is that the topic of judging in the Bible is found quite often and can be quite confusing to figure out!
Be sure to read all the way to the end where you can download all of the Bible quotes about judging others to share with others!
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What Does the Bible Say About Judging Others
I want to preface this by saying that I know I'm not the perfect Christian – there is actually no such thing. I'm a sinner the same as you and am so grateful for God's grace every single day. I also know that I can only attempt to live as best as I can in a way that honors Him. But at the end of each day, I know that I am still a sinner and that I will fall victim to my sinful nature – and that He still forgives and loves me.
So what does the Bible say about judging others? While I did find many Bible quotes about judging others, this one seems to be the most to-the-point of them all. Even without reading any others, this one clears up the answer to the question:
“Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?” James 4:11-12 NLT
We are not called to judge one another. The only judge is God himself and by judging others, you are clearly defying His word.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. 2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV
But we should help other believers who may be straying from God’s Word by pointing out issues. That doesn’t mean to condemn them. Our job is to love others and offer them grace for their misgivings – just like Jesus does for us daily.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:17 ESV
What Does the Bible Say About Judging Righteously
Where in the Bible does it say we can judge righteously? John 7:24-34 NKJV tells us:
Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
And this Proverb about judging righteously:
Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:9
This is probably making you think “Didn’t you just say that we aren’t supposed to judge others?”
The truth is there is a big difference between judgment (as a form of condemnation) and judging righteously.
What Does the Bible Say About Condemning Others
Condemnation is not ours to give. It is God’s alone. Romans 2:1 tells us not to judge outsiders (non-believers).
The difference between judging others and judging others righteously. Simply judging others means we are condemning them – and that is not our job!
At the end of the day, none of us are perfect. We are all sinners – even those who are followers of Christ.
We can’t condemn others for their sins because we also sin daily.
What Does the Bible Say About Judging Non-Believers
The Bible outright tells us not to judge non-believers.
1 Corinthians 5:12 literally tells us not to judge outsiders (people who aren’t part of the church – non-believers).
It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. 1 Corinthians 5:12 NLT
Of course, we are supposed to share the Gospel with them but how can we judge those who do not realize or understand their sinful ways?
Bible Verses About Judging Others
We’ve already seen a glimpse of what the Bible says about judging others. But that isn’t all there is to learn about judgment in the Bible!
While we may be tempted to pass judgment on others because of their individual sins, the Bible is very clear that we should not. Our only job is to share the Good news of Christ. We are not tasked with being the “Bible-enforcers” or anything like that. We are simply to show others what it means to be a Christian – a follower of Christ – through love and compassion.
Here are some additional scriptures about judging others for you to meditate on:
Bible Verses About Judging Others Actions
What does the Bible say about judging others for their actions? As with everything else we’ve read so far, we can’t judge others when we, ourselves, are not free of sin!
These Bible verses about judging others actions say:
- Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure, you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5 ESV
- When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7 NIV
Bible Verses About Judging Others Faith
What does the Bible say about judging others’ faith in something?
Romans 14:1-3 NIV tells us to:
Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Romans 14:1-3 NIV
Bible Verses About Condemning Others
We’ve already covered a bit about what the Bible says about condemning others. But that was just the icing on the cake! The Bible is pretty clear in that we are not to condemn others for their thoughts or actions.
Here are just a few more verses about condemning others to meditate on:
- Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. Romans 2:1 ESV
- Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37 ESV
- You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. Romans 14:10-13
Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged!
As you can see, judging in the Bible can be a bit complex and confusing to understand!
God is the only judge and we will all face His judgment one day and have to account for our actions during the time we spend on earth. As Christians, we aren’t called to judge others in condemnation. We are called to love them and help them to turn away from the sinful things they may be doing.
It saddens me when I hear of someone who is lost being treated with disdain like they are less than human because of their particular sin. It saddens me, even more, when the church makes them feel unwelcome because the church is where the lost are supposed to turn to.
I know there was a time when I quickly passed judgment on others and to be honest, I still do sometimes without even realizing it – because we are all human and subject to our sinful human nature. But I do try to make more of a conscious effort to stop myself and see them through the eyes of Jesus and not my own.
Those who are the furthest from sin need us to befriend and love them the most! No one ever came to be a Christ-follower because someone bullied them into it!
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5 thoughts on “What Does the Bible Say About Judging Others”
What a wonderful story of grace and love you share about the man who came to your church. Truly love is what draws people to the Lord, not our condemnation. Jesus Himself said, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever Believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:17-18). People are living under the judgment and condemnation of their own sin when they are not Christ followers. It’s our job to love them with the love of God and help them out of that condemnation and judgment.
“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” John 7:24 When we are aware of our own frailties, we have compassion for other people’s blind spots and are gentle with the rebuke necessary for them to repent from sin and be right with God. We must keep our eyes on Jesus and on loving others instead of on continuously looking for wrong things in others. Our own repentance matters more to God than for us to point out others’ sins. Sometimes it’s better to pray and wait for God’s perfect timing so it won’t turn the other person away instead of drawing them closer to God. Most people are not ready for rebuke. God must soften a heart, and only He can do that.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT JUDGING OTHERS?
God’s Word is clear and states it better than I ever could: Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. Luke 6:37-38
As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Romans 3:10-12
I know I’m far from being the perfect Christian and the good news there’s no such thing. We are all filthy rags in sight.
For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment, And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. Isaiah 64:6
I’m a sinner and will remain a sinner this side of eternity. I’m grateful for God’s grace every day of my life. I do my best to bring God Glory in each breath I’m given.
Loved this post about what the Bible says about Judging others. Many times I think judgment becomes common practice for those that practice religion versus seeking to have a relationship… Pharisees-like versus Christ-like. Jesus came for relationship. To show mercy, grace, love. “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Thanks for sharing this insight!
Yes! We are called to love like Jesus FIRST! That is how we win them to Christ. But 1 Corinthians 5 throws us a curve ball. It calls us to hold all believers to the standard of the Bible. It even says to “judge” those in the church. I am so grateful that God gives us his perfect word by which we can measure our behavior. His commands are perfect, and we are truly loving other believers when we help each other to live by them. Great post, LeeAnn!