Quotes about Judgment-Others_by
It is sad…that saints should have many eyes to behold one another’s infirmities, and not one eye to see each other’s graces.
[The one] who judges according to the word and law of the Lord, and forms his judgments by the rule of charity, always begins with subjecting himself to examination, and preserves a proper medium and order in his judgments.
We may judge doctrine and behavior by the objective standards of right and wrong that are given to us in Scripture. What we may not do though, is judge a person’s heart and motives.
To judge others is to decide that they are doing wrong because they do something the Bible doesn’t talk about or because you think you can guess what is in that person’s heart.
Is it more wrong to allow what God prohibits, or to prohibit what God allows? This is actually a trick question because both alternatives are equally wrong. Either alternative would put me in the position of the Lawgiver. God allows only Himself the prerogative to determine holy standards.
Grace frees us from having to earn God’s acceptance by meeting others’ expectations, and it also frees us from the unholy pride and prejudice of determining others’ acceptance by God on the basis of our own wisdom.
Certainly, in Matthew 7:1, Jesus did forbid judging in one sense… But for now, note that if you read through that same gospel of Matthew, you’ll find that Jesus also clearly called us to rebuke others for sin, even rebuking them publicly if need be (Matt. 18:15-17; cf. Luke 17:3). Whatever Jesus meant by not judging in Matthew 7, He didn’t mean to rule out the kind of judging He mandated in Matthew 18… If you think about it, it is not really surprising that we as a church should be instructed to judge. After all, if we cannot say how a Christian should not live, how can we say how a Christian should live?
It is easier to cry against one-thousand sins of others than to kill one of your own.
If one can make no moral judgments, there can be no morality.
Judgmentalism is an unwitting revelation of one’s own soul, because people rush to condemn their own sins in others… The greedy delight to condemn the greed in others. The ambitious charge others with self-ambition. Liars love to call others liars. Somehow judgmental people imagine they will lessen their guilt by judging their sins in others.
What Jesus clearly meant [in Matthew 7:1-2] is that we should avoid judgmental and condemnatory attitudes that are harsh and critical, judgment where we are thinking the worst of someone instead of the best (Luke 6:37-38; 1 Cor. 13:7).
An individual Christian may see fit to give up all sorts of things for special reasons – marriage, or meat, or beer, or cinema; but the moment he stars saying the things are bad in themselves, or looking down his nose at other people who do use them, he has taken the wrong turning.
Do not then spend the strength of your zeal for your religion in censuring others. The man that is most busy in censuring others is always least employed in examining himself.
The man that is most busy in censuring others is always least employed in examining himself.
What Jesus forbids is self-righteous, officious, hasty, unmerciful, prejudiced, and unwarranted condemnation based on human standards and human reasoning… [He condemns] the judgment of motives, which no mere human being can know of another, and to judgment of external forms.
Original sin…means that people by nature are hostile to God, utterly unable to obey God out of pure motives or from a pure heart, and therefore unable to do anything that truly pleases God (Rom. 8:7-8). All Adam’s offspring are born naturally depraved and with a bent toward sin and rebellion.
It is better to have eyes for beauty – than for blemish. It is better to be able to see the rose – than the thorns. It is better to have learned to look for things to commend in others – than for things to condemn. Of course other people have faults – and we are not blind. But then we have faults of our own – and this should make us charitable.
We are not to look for the evil things in others. We are not to see others through the warped glasses of prejudice and unkindly feeling. We are not to arrogate to ourselves the function of judging, as if men were answerable to us. We are to avoid a critical or censorious spirit. Nothing is said against speaking of the good in those we see and know; it is uncharitable judging and speaking, which Jesus condemns.
In condemning and censuring others, we are thrusting ourselves into God’s place, taking his scepter into our hands, and presuming to exercise one of His sole prerogatives.
People are not truly grieved by the sins in others, which they complacently expose and condemn. Too often they seem to delight in having discovered something unbeautiful in a neighbor, and they swoop down upon the blemish – like a vulture on carrion! If ever criticism is indulged in – it should be with deep grief for the friend, that the fault exists in him; and with sincere desire that for his sake it be removed; and then the criticism should be made, not in the ear of the world – but “between him and you alone.”
[Christians are] not to be hasty in making negative judgments on their fellows. It is a dangerous procedure because it invites a similar judgment in return. And it is a difficult procedure because our own faults make it hard for us to see precisely what is amiss in our fellows. Jesus is not, of course, forbidding all judgments; He is warning against the hasty condemnations that are so easy to make, and so characteristic of the human race.
Have you noticed that even people who feel lousy about themselves are judgmental toward others? When you feel inferior to others, you don’t respect them or treat them with mercy. Instead, you envy, hate, grumble, and criticize. Even self-belittling tendencies – “low self-esteem,” self-pity, self-hatred, timidity, fears of failure and rejection – fundamentally express pride failing, pride intimidated, and pride despairing. Such pride, even when much battered, still finds someone else to look down on.
How severe justicers we can be to our own crimes in others’ persons.
A corrupt man dies of a sudden heart attack. God’s judgment. A godly woman in a car accident. We suppose she must have had awful hidden sins. Hurricane Sandy hits us a few years ago. God’s judgment because of the television show “Jersey Shore.” Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. You get the idea. We have no idea! We can’t understand the mysterious providential will of God! But we keep enjoy judging others and believe we are less deserving of God’s judgment. When “judgment” falls on others we think they must have deserved it. When it falls upon us we question God (see Luke 13:4-5).
We live in a world where truth is relative. According to most, there is no absolute standard to determine right from wrong because truth is ever-changing and subjectively suited to personal opinions and popular culture. Most want to believe this because at our core we want to be autonomous without any accountability and restraints. We want to be God. We want to be the sole arbitrator to determine right from wrong. So to bolster support for this driving tendency, many have used the Word of God for their justification. They have erroneously taken Jesus’ words in Matthew 7 not to judge as their shield for critique-free sinful behavior. It’s funny how they use our Lord’s words as a reason not to submit to the rest of our Lord’s words found elsewhere in the Bible! However, such a position is contradictory to the inherent understanding of societal function and clearly a false interpretation of what Jesus intended.
Though we cannot read hearts, we all have this insidious tendency based upon limited information to judge people as to what drives them internally and then jump to oftentimes the worst conclusions possible. In a nutshell, we draw an opinion about the intent of a person’s heart (oftentimes without ever even speaking to the individual) and then act upon that opinion as if our assumptions are infallible.
Probably the most important reason that unbiblical judgment is wrong is because acting in this way usurps the authority of God. When we judge in this way we are stepping on God’s Throne and pronouncing our sovereignty and omniscience and declaring to the world that people are ultimately answerable to us. We are setting ourselves up as God, and in doing so, committing arguably the worst form of evil.
The Bible is God’s Word so when we tell erring people what the Scriptures say (something we are commanded to do – Mt. 18: 15; Gal. 6:1; 2 Thes. 3:15; Jas. 5:19), it’s not us judging the other person with our words, but it is God judging them through His Word. We are only mediators and ambassadors, presenting to people through our words and actions, God’s verdict on the situation. This is the most loving thing we can do since sin is destructive and God is the one that they will face regarding their actions on these matters.
We judge other people for a reason. There is something in us that fuels this unbiblical response – pride! Pride wants to look down upon others. Pride wants to dethrone others to make ourselves appear more spiritual. Pride wants to have others answering to us. Pride wants other people admiring our actions. Pride wants to prioritize self over the value and dignity of another individual. So in an effort to justify ourselves, we find it very easy to condemn others. However, kingdom citizens are broken in spirit (Mt. 5:3). It is impossible to be broken in spirit and judge others at the same time.
Sinful judgment is also wrong because we have limited knowledge. We do not have all the facts. We are biased. It is always easier to see things from our perspective and shade things to our advantage. When we judge others, we have a tremendous capacity for deception and more often than not formulate facts that are erroneous. How many times has someone totally written you off only to eventually find out that all the conclusions they drew about you were inaccurate?
When we judge others in an unbiblical fashion, God’s judgment rests upon us in a greater way. Matthew 7, verse 1: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” Verse 2, “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” Judging others is flat-out dangerous. For how can we suppose that we can act so unmercifully to God’s people and then expect to receive the mercy we desire so much from God? Be prepared! The measure of sinful judgment we extend to others will be proportioned back to us in like measure. One author said judgment is like a boomerang, it comes back and hangs you on its own gallows.
Are we prepared to live by our own standards? If the way you internally judge others was measured back to you externally by others, you would be totally crushed and exasperated! And if the severity of judgment from others is a painful thought, consider the severity of God’s judgment applying to you the same standard you apply to others. The parallel verse of Matthew 7:1 in Luke says, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned” (Lk. 6:36-37). In James 2:13 we read, “For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy.” On the contrary, the Fifth Beatitude states, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy” (Mt. 5:7).
There is no doubt that we as Christians should be civil toward those whose opinions might differ from ours. But there is a world of difference between civility and affirmation. It is one thing to be kind and respectful to my homosexual neighbors. It is quite another thing to say I must approve of their sinful lifestyle. To say we need to approve of everyone’s beliefs without ever given the opportunity for disagreement is simply inconsistent with the principles that built our great nation of democracy and freedom! It is also committing another act of judgmentalism. For telling someone else that he or she is being judgmental is a rather judgmental thing to do! People who do not want absolute standards have declared that all must follow their absolute standard that forbids judging others!
Confronting another when they are in a state of sin is an act of love. If our children were abusing drugs we would make a judgment call. Why is it any different if a brother or sister in Christ is acting in a destructive manner? Don’t we understand the destructive nature of sin? It nailed our Savior to the cross! Respected pastor and theologian, John Stott, once said, “To [learn of a foreign object in a brother’s eye and] leave it there, and make no attempt to remove it, would hardly be consistent with brotherly love” (Sermon on the Mount, p. 179). If we really want to be more like Christ (Rom. 8:29), we will be grateful to have our sins revealed. If we are humble, we will be grateful to have our sins revealed. It is only the scoffer, according to Proverbs, who hates correction (Pro. 9:8). And if this is what is best for us, we should naturally want it for others. Isn’t that the Golden Rule (Mt. 7:12)?
Spiritually segregating people as those less worthy of God’s acceptance is still a problem today. And while racial unity is still not where it needs to be, we still segregate people based upon other intangibles (such as wealth, education, attractiveness and convictions) that we might consider impure. We still have a tendency to look down upon others different from us and believe they are less deserving of God’s grace than we are.
What Jesus prohibits…is sinful, improper judging. It is the hypocrisy of condemning others but failing to see one’s own glaring sins. Jesus forbids self-righteous criticism, a hypercritical spirit, and a harsh, fault-finding mindset.
A Pharisee is hard on others and easy on himself, but a spiritual man is easy on others and hard on himself.
Sin plays havoc with our spiritual vision. Although we are able to see the sin of others with specificity and clarity, we tend to be blind to our own. And the most dangerous aspect of this already dangerous condition is that spiritually blind people tend to be blind to their blindness.
Be quick to judge yourself and not to judge others.
Self asserts itself in criticizing others. Let this thought burn itself into your memory – the more like Jesus Christ a man becomes, the less he judges other people. It is an infallible test. Those who are always criticizing others have drifted away from Christ. They may still be His, but have lost His Spirit of love. Beloved reader, if you have a criticizing nature, allow it to dissect yourself and never your neighbor.
For some reason, it is easier to jump to negative conclusions about people than it is to assume the best about them. When we do this, we ascribe to them bad intentions and evil purposes that may not be true. We also reveal something about ourselves, for the faults we see in others are actually are reflection of our own.
When we look down on others with haughty judgment, we invoke the same compassionless treatment from God toward our infirmities. What a terrifying response from the living God! Belligerent people are told they can expect to be handled by God, not according to His tender compassion, but with severity matching their contempt of others. Such words should sober even the most hardened heart and result in a fresh realization that self-righteousness tops God’s list of man’s most despised iniquities (Prov. 6:16-19).