At some point in a Christian’s walk, they will most definitely be persecuted for their beliefs and be accused of being judgmental. And I can even understand how a non-Christian might have this mindset. Christians tend to be over zealous and excited that they want to share with you their beliefs and how Christ has impacted their lives. Christians tend to have beliefs that differ from the secular world and often times shut a topic down without ever hearing both sides, which should not be the case. If you want someone to listen to you, then you need to be prepared to listen to them.
The truth is, we all need to have some level of judgment as Christians and non-Christians. How else do we know what is good and right for us if we never stop to think about its impact? The Bible shares these scriptures with us about believers having judgment:
“Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I believe in your commands.” -Psalm 119:66
“My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight.” -Proverbs 3:21
“Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.” -John 7:24
“Now let the fear of the Lord be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.” -2 Chronicles 19:7
“Speak up and judge fairly, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” -Proverbs 31:9
The Bible also shares with us the effects of NOT having sound judgment with these scriptures:
“But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself.” -Proverbs 6:32
“The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment.” -Proverbs 10:21
“An unfriendly man pursues selfish ends; he defies all sound judgment.” -Proverbs 18:1
And because I know people say we are not supposed to judge, here are scriptures about NOT judging:
“Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have understanding and power.” –Proverbs 8:14
“For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” –Ecclesiastes 12:14
“You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we all stand before God’s judgment seat.” –Romans 14:10
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” -2 Corinthians 5:10
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” –Matthew 7:1
“He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice.” –Psalm 9:8
“For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is he who will save us.” –Isaiah 33:22
“There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you – who are you to judge your neighbor?” –James 4:12
Do you see the difference between honorable judgments and sinfully judging? What the Bible is saying is we are not to judge our neighbors, fellow believers and non-believers. But we are to judge the sin, the acts of others, the cause and effect of words and actions. We need to judge people’s actions to know if they are good friends, to know if they are good people for our children to be around. Thus, it makes sense to have some level of judgment.
I am not saying that you will never cross paths with a Christian who isn’t judgmental just as Christians will inevitably cross paths with a judgmental non-believer. The truth is, we all fall short and we all judge and sin. As Christians, we are called to “correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2). If you are a non-believer and see a Christian judging, know that they may not know then that they are passing judgment but God will make them aware of this and hold them accountable. This does not mean that they are not a Christian; it just means they are a sinner and will be corrected, forgiven and redeemed by our loving God.
One last thing, there is a HUGE difference in having an opinion versus being judgmental. I can have an opinion about what I believe is right or wrong. This does not mean I am judging anyone! It does however mean I am judging the actions of that person. And to bring this full circle…. as you see above, we are called to judge the actions of others.