Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged: Who Really Wins When We Pass Judgment?

Explore the meaning of judgement in the Bible & how it impacts life. Learn practical ways to practice compassion over criticism, echoing the teachings of Jesus.

Understanding Judgement in the Bible and Life

In the Bible, “judge not” is an admonition aimed at promoting compassion over harsh criticism. Matthew 7:1 states, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” This Scripture, part of the Sermon on the Mount, emphasizes that the measure you use to judge others will be used against you.

Consider these practical ways to embody this teaching:

  • If you notice someone’s mistake, instead of criticizing, reflect on times you’ve made similar errors. This can foster empathy rather than judgement.
  • Before expressing disapproval of others’ choices, remember that context matters; everyone’s story is different and complex. Try to understand their motivations and circumstances.
  • Embrace tolerance and forgiveness. If a friend or family member acts out of character, approach them with concern rather than judgement. They might be enduring suffering and trials that are not immediately apparent.

Practicing such behaviors doesn’t imply ignoring wrongdoing.

It’s about self-reflection and avoiding a censorious spirit. Luke 6:37 underscores this: “Do not judge, and you will not be judged.

Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.

Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” By avoiding the trap of hypocrisy – like focusing on the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye while ignoring the plank in your own – you align closer with the principles of love and justice that Jesus advocated.

Be a source of inexpressible joy to those around you by choosing to guide rather than judge, to love rather than condemn, and to accept with grace, echoing the virtues the apostles encouraged in early believers.

Recall that judgement is ultimately God’s domain, as stated in 1 Corinthians 4:5: He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart.