Let’s talk about judging others.

There’s this belief that we aren’t suppose to judge anyone as Christians.

And there is this other belief that we are to judge everyone.

According to Scripture, neither are true.


Here’s what is true. As Christians we are to judge only each other, those who claim to hold belief in Jesus Christ, not unbelievers.

“For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. Purge the evil person from among you.”

1 Corinthians 5:12-13

Unbelievers aren’t our concern as far as the sins they commit. Our only obligation to them is to share the good news of Jesus and let them decide if they’ll follow Christ or not (as well as loving them as ourselves).

That’s it.

But for those who claim Christ, we are to be more astute. As Jesus pointed out, there will be some in the Church intent on burning it down. These are the people who will need to be “judged” and with good reason.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”

Matthew 7:15

Some people within the Church aren’t here for Jesus at all. For one reason or another, they’re doing Satan’s bidding, and everything they claim (as well as anything anyone else within the church claims) must be tested against Scripture. Just because someone looks “church appropriate” doesn’t mean they truly are.

And maybe a brother or sister isn’t intent on bringing Christ’s Church down to its knees (and news flash: that just ain’t possible), but they might be the kind that stumbles off the path every now and then. These, too, must be judged because it’s very easy to claim Christ as your savior, and it’s just as easy to walk off the path of righteousness:

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.

John 15:12

We are the branches, He is the vine. If we don’t yield good fruit, proof that we are fully invested in Him and of the Kingdom, we will be taken away. You may be saved, but this doesn’t mean you can’t eventually walk away from Jesus.

But who within the church can judge and how should they do so? Remember the “log in the eye” example Jesus gave us?

“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.

Matthew 7:3-5

As followers of Christ, we need to be above reproach. We can’t be blind to our own sins and expect to be the ones to help our brothers and sisters back on course. This verse isn’t about not judging. This verse is about judging correctly and doing so with a loving heart and wise mind.

So should we judge? Absolutely. Should we judge everyone? No. When you think about it, it’s rather cruel to judge an unbeliever. They’ve got enough on their plate navigating this world without Jesus. What we should be doing is showing them Jesus’s love through our words and actions.

And as for those we love and see every Sunday, we also need to be loving and Biblical in our approach. “Wise as serpents and peaceful as doves,” as Jesus says. But we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to their misdeeds even if they seem trivial. Because nothing is trivial in the Kingdom of God.

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