How should we treat people who are openly living sinful life? Should we hate and avoid them? Do we have the right to judge them?
If you are a Christian, here are some Bible verses that can help answer your questions about judging others:
Not God’s Will
1. Christ Did Not Come to Earth to Condemn but to Save.
Jesus Christ came to earth to save sinners. His intention for dying on the cross is to redeem these people that the so-called ‘righteous’ judge. That is why He calls them to put their trust in Him instead of condemning them.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17)
“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” (John 12:46-47)
2. He Wants His People to Help Each Other Overcome Sin.
One of the purposes of the church is for God’s people to help one another repent and avoid sins. Therefore, instead of judging fellow believers, the Lord wants them to rebuke in love and help each other overcome their sin. The Bible also tells us not to compare ourselves.
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.” (Galatians 6:1-5)
3. In Giving Justice, Judge Fairly.
In terms of giving justice, the Bible wants impartiality and equality. Therefore, God wants fair justice to be given in each situation.
“Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.” (Leviticus 19:15)
Goes Back to You
4. You Cannot Be Forgiven if You Do Not Forgive Others.
If you want to be forgiven by God, you must also forgive those who have hurt you. And with forgiveness comes seeing the person without condemnation or judgment.
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37)
5. If You Judge Others, You Will Be Judged in the Same Manner Too.
Remember that you are not perfect too. God will judge you based on how you judge others. For this reason, you must be careful not to judge a person easily.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 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 7:1-5)
6. You Must Treat Others Like How You Want to be Treated.
Do you remember the Golden Rule? If you live by it, you will not judge others—unless you want to be judged too.
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)
7. You Must Focus on Your Own Judgment.
Instead of being busy pointing out others’ mistakes, why not focus on correcting your own to avoid God’s judgment in the end?
“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)
8. Believers Must Not Badmouth Each Other.
To help you avoid judging others, keep your mouth shut from gossip and slander. It is like hitting two birds with one stone—avoiding two sins: judging others and slandering.
“Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?” (James 4:11-12)
9. Be Humble.
Never think that you are better than others. You have probably even done worse things than the person you judge. Remember that it is only by God’s grace that you are saved.
“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)
10. Respect Those with Weak Faith.
Even if others have weaker faith than you or probably believe in a different doctrine, choose to respect them. Do not judge their beliefs because it is between them and God. Avoid mocking their faith, causing them to stumble.
“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. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.” (Romans 14:1-4)
11. Be Merciful.
God wants you to show mercy to sinners, just like how He shows mercy to you—who is another sinner.
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)
12. Correct a Person in Gentleness.
As a Christian, you are still accountable to your brothers and sisters in Christ. You still have the responsibility to rebuke and help them be restored in their relationship with God. However, you must do this in love and gentleness.
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)
Evaluate Yourself First
Before scrutinizing the mistakes of others, you better check yourself first. Then, evaluate your character and relationship with God. Can you say that you are doing your best to do His will all the time?
Just like how you hope to be treated with grace and given a second chance, other people long for the same things. Hopefully, this thought helps you to be kinder to others.
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