When is judging a sin?


I have a question about when judging people becomes a sin. I was thinking about how my friends take the Lord’s name in vain sometimes. And I was thinking to myself well if they don’t confess then they might not end up where they expect (when they die). Then I thought well they might not know it’s wrong, and I’ve committed this in the past. Is this the sin of judging? What’s an example of judging being a sin?



Judging others is wrong when you draw conclusions without careful examination. "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment" (John 7:24). Too often people just go with the first thing they notice, but first impressions are not always right. "The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him" (Proverbs 18:17).

Judging is wrong when we apply one standard to other people but a different standard to ourselves or to our group. "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. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:1-5). This is a problem the Jews had in dealing with the Gentiles. "Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things" (Romans 2:1). If something is wrong, it is wrong for everyone, including me. This is why we must be impartial in our judgments. "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality" (I Timothy 5:21).

Judging is wrong when we use the wrong standard. Too often people are condemned because they don't make exactly the same choices as we do. "For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding" (II Corinthians 10:12). The only standard that matters is God's standard. "Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand" (Romans 14:4).

In regards to your example, it is God who said not to take His name in vain. Further, "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear" (Ephesians 4:29). Since it is God who commands this, it is proper to warn others that God needs to be heeded. It doesn't matter if you have been guilty of the same sin. You know that you were guilty and changed. You are respecting others by keeping them from harm. "You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him" (Leviticus 19:17).

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