A photo of an open Bible lying on a wooden table, emphasizing the verse "Judge not, that you be not judged" (Matthew 7:1), surrounded by diverse hands reaching out in unity.

What Does The Bible Say About Judging Others?

Judging others is a complex issue that requires understanding Bible verses in their full context. At its core, the Bible teaches us not to judge hypocritically or self-righteously, but it does call us to lovingly correct and guide fellow Christians.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The Bible tells us not to judge hypocritically or think ourselves superior to others. But we are called to gently guide fellow Christians and discern truth from falsehood.

Bible Verses on Not Judging Others

Matthew 7:1-5 – Remove the log from your own eye first

In Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus teaches us not to judge others hypocritically. He uses an analogy of removing a speck from your brother’s eye while there is a plank in your own. His point is that we should be focused on our own shortcomings and need for grace rather than condemning others.

This passage reminds us that none of us are perfect and we all need God’s mercy. We shouldn’t view ourselves as superior to others. The best course of action is to humbly reflect on our own flaws before criticizing someone else.

Romans 14:1-13 – Allow for freedom in non-essential matters

Romans 14 addresses disagreements among Christians on issues like dietary choices and holy days. Paul urges tolerance on debatable matters, stating that God accepts both the “weak” and “strong” Christians. Though their convictions differ, both are serving the Lord with sincere hearts.

Paul writes that we must not judge or despise fellow believers over disputable issues as “each of us will give an account of ourselves to God” (v.12). This passage encourages unity in diversity, with freedom in non-essential matters.

Our focus should be loving one another rather than forcing uniformity.

James 4:11-12 – There is only one Lawgiver and Judge

James sternly warns against slandering or judging fellow believers, stating “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy” (v.12). As finite human beings, we are in no position to evaluate someone else’s heart or motives. That right belongs to God alone.

When we judge each other harshly, we usurp God’s authority and demonstrate an arrogant spirit. Instead of judging, our role is to love others, lead by example, and leave ultimate judgment to the Lord. He alone sees the full picture and will judge righteously in due time.

When Discernment and Correcting Others Is Appropriate

Galatians 6:1 – Restore a brother gently

Galatians 6:1 encourages believers to gently restore a brother or sister who is caught in sin. This involves discernment to identify the sin, while maintaining an attitude of gentleness, humility and patience (Galatians 6:1-5).

Sources suggest taking time to pray, investigate the facts and circumstances, and carefully plan the conversation to avoid causing further harm.

1 Corinthians 5:9-13 – Judge those inside the church

1 Corinthians 5 provides guidance on judging those within the church who are living in blatant, unrepentant sin. Though we are not to judge outsiders, abandoning an unrepentant so-called brother may spur repentance and restore purity in the church (v. 5).

This requires discernment and a willingness to take appropriate action for the good of the individual and church.

Titus 3:9-11 – Avoid foolish controversies but warn a divisive person

Discernment is key to distinguishing between foolish controversies and divisive false teachings (Titus 3:9-11). While we are to avoid useless quarrels over minor issues (v. 9), deliberately divisive people should receive two warnings and then be rejected (v. 10-11).

This maintains the unity and truth of church teaching.

1 John 4:1 – Test the spirits to see if they are from God

With many false prophets in the world, 1 John 4:1 encourages discernment by testing every spirit to determine if it is from God. Key questions include: Does the message align with Scripture? Does it affirm Jesus has come in the flesh? And does it reflect the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23)?

While we cannot judge hearts, testing teachings is vital.

Judging Others Begins with Examining Ourselves

Matthew 7:3-5 – Hypocrisy of judging with a plank in your eye

In Matthew 7:3-5, Jesus warns against hypocritically judging others while we ourselves are guilty of even greater sins. He uses a metaphor of having a plank in your own eye while trying to remove a speck from your brother’s eye.

The imagery powerfully conveys the absurdity and hypocrisy of harshly judging minor flaws in others while ignoring our own major shortcomings.

Jesus teaches that we must first take the plank out of our own eye before we can see clearly to remove the speck from our brother’s eye. We must honestly examine our own lives, confess and repent of our own sins, before approaching others about their faults with humility and compassion.

Otherwise, we are blind hypocrites pronouncing judgments we ourselves cannot pass.

Romans 2:1-4 – Judging others condemns yourself

In Romans 2:1-4, Paul warns that when we judge others, we actually bring judgment upon ourselves. When we point fingers at others’ sins, three fingers point back at us. Paul says that God’s judgment is according to truth, so when we judge others for things we do ourselves, we are storing up wrath for ourselves on the day of judgment.

The only way to avoid condemning ourselves is to exhibit the kindness, patience, and mercy of God towards others. We must remember that we all stand guilty before a holy God, saved only by His grace. This humbles us and enables us to gently restore others rather than condemn them.

1 Corinthians 11:28-31 – Examine yourself before judging

In 1 Corinthians 11:28-31, Paul exhorts believers to examine themselves before partaking of the Lord’s Supper, so they do not eat and drink judgment on themselves. The principle applies to judging others too. Before we judge or correct others, we must first solemnly examine our own hearts and lives.

This self-examination should involve confessing our sins before God, assessing our motives and attitude, and ensuring we are acting in love and humility. Only then can we lovingly seek to restore others through godly counsel, not self-righteous condemnation.

As Jesus said, we must first remove the plank from our own eye.

How to Judge Righteously

John 7:24 – Judge with righteous judgment

In John 7:24, Jesus commands us to “judge with righteous judgment.” This means we are called to judge between right and wrong, truth and lies. However, we must do it in a righteous way, not hypocritically or by human standards.

To judge righteously, we need wisdom and discernment from God (1 Corinthians 2:15). We should examine ourselves before passing judgment on others (Matthew 7:1-5). Our judgments should be guided by God’s Word, not our personal biases.

We must judge with grace and humility, remembering we too are sinners saved by grace (Romans 3:23). The goal is to restore, not condemn.

1 Corinthians 2:15 – Those spiritual can discern all things

1 Corinthians 2:15 explains that spiritual people can discern all things but are subject to no human judgment. When we have the Holy Spirit and renew our minds in God’s Word (Romans 12:2), we gain discernment to judge between truth and error.

We are no longer swayed by the opinions of men but can test everything according to the Word of God (1 John 4:1). This spiritual discernment enables us to judge situations accurately and offer biblical solutions rather than human ones.

As we grow in wisdom and discernment, we can lovingly call out sin while extending mercy and grace. Our judgment is not to condemn but to humbly correct and restore by the power of the Spirit.

Philippians 1:9-10 – Love abounding in knowledge and discernment

In Philippians 1:9-10, Paul prays for believers to grow in love, knowledge, and discernment so they can approve what is excellent. Mature Christian judgment requires both wisdom and love. Knowledge of God’s Word enables us to discern truth from error and distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5:14).

But without love, our judgment can become harsh and condemnatory. As we grow in grace, we learn to judge as Jesus did – truthfully yet mercifully and compassionately. We call out sin, but only to restore sinners.

Our judgments should be bathed in prayer, guided by Scripture, and presented gently in love (Galatians 6:1). This pleases God and rightly represents Him.


In summary, the Bible provides wise principles regarding discernment and judging others. With humility and God’s grace, we can avoid hypocritical judgment and instead guide fellow Christians based on God’s Word, careful examination of ourselves, and love for others.

Similar Posts