What Does the Bible Say About Being Judgmental?

by Contributor

The Bible is clear that God does not want people to be judgmental. Christianity teaches that people do not have the entire picture as God does. Since human viewpoints are thought to be skewed based upon human limitations, people are not in a position to judge others well. Instead, according to Christians, God calls everyone to have compassion and forgive one another.

Judgment and Hypocrisy

The most direct passage in the Bible against being judgmental is found in Matthew 7:1-6, in which Jesus points out that people tend to judge the "speck of sawdust" in another person's eye when they are oblivious to the "plank" in their own eyes. Being judgmental, according to the Bible, only makes people hypocrites because they focus on the faults of others rather than their own.

Sin in the Bible

The Bible notes that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), which means that nobody is in a position to be judgmental about another person's actions. Though Christians believe Jesus did not sin, he nevertheless refrained from condemning the adulterous woman when others were about to stone her (John 8:1-11). Jesus instead invited the person who was "without sin" to cast the first stone.

Careful Judgment

In II Chronicles 19:6-7, King Jehoshaphat warned the appointed judges to "Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery." The danger, as Christians interpret the passage, was that people would judge wrongly. The Bible warns to "Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment" (John 7:24).

Consequences of Judgment

The Bible warns judgmental people that they will be judged by the same measure with which they judge others (Matthew 7:2). Deuteronomy 1:17 suggests that judgment belongs only to God, not to humans. Rather than being judgmental, the Bible instructs people to have compassion and empathy for others (Ephesians 4:32).

Benefits of Mercy

In Luke 6:37, the Bible says, "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." Viewing others with compassion instead of judgment, according to the Bible, brings followers into better alignment with God's will.

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