Judge Not!?

This idea of judging each other is a oft misunderstood concept. I really liked this Facebook comment by my friend Brian:
I find that people tend to be unrealistic with this teaching of "not judging". We judge all the time. Judging is necessary and good in some circumstances. It's part of being human, BTW, it's most often given as advice when someone doesn't like the conclusion that you've come to.
I like that Brian acknowledges that we judge all of the time. It is necessary to make judgments concerning many issues.. really.. most decisions involve some sort of judgment.. most judgment is usually needed. Even judging people's actions are often necessary.. when a person commits a crime most countries have a legal process of judgment to determine guilt usually based on evidence.

But I think that there is a judgment that is not needed.. it is the sort of judgment that is not based on logic or anything rational. When I think of this kind of judging I think of this quote:
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation were they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
-Martin Luther King Jr.
In this Dr. King hits the heart of what it means to "Judge Not!" We err when we judge people based on stereotypes and superficialities. We are simply not equipped to judge a person's motives.. people are way too complex.. and we are way too ignorant to make judgments of their heart. With that in mind I thought that I would offer a few quotes that speak to this:

"Do not judge and you will never be mistaken." -Jean Jacques Rousseau

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them." -Mother Teresa

"It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else's eyes." -Sally Field

"We are not sent to the world to judge, to condemn, to evaluate, to classify, or to label. When we walk around as if we have to make up our mind about people and tell them what is wrong with them and how they should change, we will only create more division."
-Henri Nouwen


  1. For Christians, as I recall, the only person doling out judgments should be God, and this will be done on what is commonly called judgment day. When I read the "judge not" verse I think of that kind of judgment. Anyone can judge individual actions, but no human can judge someone for eternity.

  2. it's reality that we always judge others... that's part of the reason we have biases towards some people. I think whats wrong is that we sometimes stand by our judgment even if the reasons are very flimsy and even when we see evidences that contradict our initial judgment, we stubbornly refuse to reconsider

  3. @Mike - ditto that.. no one is qualified to make those kind of judgments.

    @Rygel - great observation.. wonder why it is so hard to reconsider our initial judgment?

  4. Very good article Bob.... I agree, let's leave the it in the Almighty Judge's just hand.


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