Does The Bible Really Say, Don’t ‘Judge’ Other Christians?
Some people love to quote Matthew 7:1. Whether they read or even know the Bible is sometimes questionable. They may be a back-slidden Christian, or maybe not Christian, or maybe not a follower of Jesus in any way. But they quote the Words of the Lord Jesus as if it’s a charm used to silence any questions about their actions. What exactly is the Lord Jesus saying when He says the following?
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. -Matthew 7:1-2
It’s important to remember that we will all be judged for our actions. First and foremost, do we know and love God and have we accepted eternal life that only comes through Jesus the Messiah (John 14:6). Once we’ve got that part down, that’s when the fun begins as we are seeking Him and knowing Him. We will all be judged and we must chose to go after God or just flow with the lost world that is on their way to hell.
If we look at the original languages of Matthew 7:1-2 we discover something. The world translated judge in many English Bibles is the word ‘. krinō. From the Greek κρίνω krinō ; meaning to judge, decide:–act as…judge(1), concluded(1), condemn(1), condemning(1), considered(1), decided(8), determine(1), determine. In other words, a more accurate translation of ‘Do not judge…’ is do not CONDEMN. So if we re-read the verses with a more descriptive word-
“Do not CONDEMN so that you will not be CONDEMNED. For in the way you CONDEMN, you will be CONDEMNED; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. -Matthew 7:1-2
With this understanding of the original, we realize that Jesus is not giving people a license to sin.. they’re going to do so anyways. Nor is He teaching Christians to ignore the sexual sins, crude language, lies, or other wrongs of the people around them. Especially those who profess to be followers of Jesus. We are to confront them. There are plenty of confirmations of that fact in the Bible ( Galatians 6:1-5, 2 Thess 3:14, 1 Timothy 5:20).
Remember, we’re not to condemn people. We’re supposed to exhort and inspire people as the Lord Jesus has done for us. However, if someone is running in sin and they confess to be a believer, we should separate and stay away from these people. The biggest thing we can do for them is to pray for the conviction of the Holy Spirit so that they can break free from their sin and deception and come back to the Father before it’s too late.