By Liz Lampkin, Crosswalk.com
“Judge not, lest ye be judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Matthew 7:1-2, KJV).
Judgment, or to judge, can mean many things and can be used in different ways. It’s used to form a positive or negative opinion, and it’s used to make conscious decisions, comparisons or forms of punishment from someone. The verses in the gospel according to Matthew clearly tell believers not to pass judgment on others. Then, the Scriptures give the warning to believers that if they do judge someone or something, they will be judged, measured or criticized with the same level of judgment they’ve used.
So, my questions are why do believers pass judgment when it’s a sin to do so and why aren’t they conscious of the fact that the judgment they use to measure others with will come back to them? If you’ve ever wondered why believers are judgmental or if you’ve ever judged someone, take a look below at some reasons why.
Many believers, or people in general, judge, misjudge or prejudge. Everyone has done it at some point in their life. But why? Matthew 7:3 says, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” Many refuse to see their own transgressions or feel the need to overlook them to escape their reality. They may also use or judge another person’s situation and compare it to their own life or similar circumstances to make themselves feel better about what’s going on in their own lives.
They may harbor a secret envy of something someone has or something they aspire to do. Everyone has experienced some form of envy towards someone else.
3. Setting the Standard
They believe they are the standard in which a person should live, rather than knowing that God sets all standards for the way believers should live.
It makes them feel superior to others. Having a judgmental attitude that tears others down is what makes people feel superior to others. Having a feeling of superiority makes one believe that they are better than someone else, which in turn gives them a false sense of superiority.
They don’t know or often forget that God does not measure sin. People measure sin. Not only this, but many have the tendency to measure the sin of others against their own as if their sin is “better” or not as sinful as someone else’s, and then pass their own human judgment on it. Sin is sin, and God views all sin as equal.
They believe their way of life or the way they do things is what’s best. Believers, especially new believers, have the tendency to try their best to abide by all of God’s law as much as possible, and tend to snub those they believe have fallen short. Little do they know, God has set the standard by which we should live. He has mapped it out in His Holy Word. He sent His only begotten Son to set the example for us while He was here on earth. While people may want to pattern after or adopt certain habits of others to improve their lifestyle, no one should be judged for the way they live their lives against anyone’s.
They forget their transgressions or mistakes. Matthew 7:3 says, “And why beholdest thou the mote in that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” The scripture is clearly asking how one can look at someone else’s transgressions but forget their own? Many believers do this because they don’t want to own up to their sins or want to justify their often-repeated behavior, rather than facing and changing it.
They only see one side of a person or circumstance. Some believers are quick to prejudge a person or circumstances because they are unaware of the full story. And rather than being quick to find out what’s going to alleviate an issue or to simply discover the truth, people continue with the negative narrative they’ve created in their minds based on what they don’t know.
The habits, behaviors or situations we judge are often things that reflect who we are. Maybe we don’t want to admit it, but many times when we pass judgment on others, it’s because we see past or present behaviors we’ve held in secret, or they are behaviors we were taught to shun.
Judging others is a sin and no one has the right to do so. While it is a natural instinct to pass judgment on others, it’s something that people need to be mindful of. If you find yourself judging others more harshly than you should, take a look at a few reasons you should stop judging others, and how to do so.
Why You Should Stop Judging Others and How to Do It
1. Work and focus on yourself.
Self-improvement is self-love. We have the tendency to judge others because we are trying to avoid the imperfections in ourselves. Everyday God gives us a chance to be better. The more you focus on yourself, the less time you’ll have to judge others.
2. Be confident in who God created you to be.
God created you for a distinct purpose in His image. Live each day confidently knowing that the Creator loved you enough to give you life no matter what your circumstances may be.
3. Read God’s Holy Word every day.
Many times, believers go through each day without reading God’s Holy Word. Reading the Word will change your heart, and with a change of heart comes a shift in thoughts. With a shift in thoughts comes new actions/ways to view and treat people.
4. Understand that judgment is a sin against God.
According to the Word of God, He is the only judge because He is the Creator of all, and He is sinless. If we are judging others, we are stepping into God’s place. If we are stepping into God’s place, we subconsciously believe that we are equal to Him, and we are not.
5. Reflect on why you are passing judgment on others.
Take some time to think about why you are judging others. To do this, ask yourself the following questions:
- Why was I so quick to pass negative judgment?
- Do I know all of the details?
- Do I see myself in them and plan to help the situation?
- Who am I to judge this person when I have work of my own to do?
Answer each question openly and honestly. You can even jot down your responses so you can have them on hand for the next time to feel yourself slipping into judge mode.
6. Mind the manners of things God has placed before you.
People are often so consumed with the affairs of others that they forget about the work God has placed before them. If more of us would focus on what God has for us to do, then there would be less time to judge.
7. Pray to be less judgmental.
Sincerely and fervently pray each day to become less judgey and to have a heart of compassion for believers and non-believers.
8. Practice self-compassion.
Be more compassionate and forgiving towards yourself. Practicing this will alleviate the need for outer acceptance. Minimizing the need for outer acceptance will give you more confidence in yourself. The more confidence you have the better you’ll feel about yourself. The better you feel about yourself, the less time you will spend finding fault in others to compare and boost yourself.
Judging people is a natural instinct. We formulate opinions about something or someone every day, but how we respond to those thoughts and people will determine our character and level of confidence. If you don’t want people to judge you in a negative way, then it’s best for you not to do the same. Besides, God is the only judge because He is the One who set the standards for the way we should live.
Is Judging Others a Sin?
Author Liz Lampkin is an experienced writer, teacher, and speaker. She is an advocate for singles who encourages them to live their best life God’s way. Follow her on Instagram @Liz_Lampkin.