Distinguishing Judgment from Godly Reproof

Distinguishing Judgment from Godly Reproof

The one who believes God’s moral standards can be known, that they are not above the struggles with sin, and believes that reproof is an act of love, will be able to avoid the judging Christ is speaking of in this passage.

It is difficult to think of a verse more misused than “Do not Judge” (Matt. 7:1). The number of times it has been used to censure Godly reproof would be impossible to count. If you are in the habit of reading the Word of God and upholding Godly standards, then you have most likely had this verse thrown your way while commenting on some behavior or trend of which God disapproves.

To many people, this verse means that no one is ever allowed to reprove or correct someone’s behavior or beliefs. If you speak, even in love, against things like sexual deviancy, drunkenness, or false religious beliefs, then according to these people, you are judgmental and therefore violating Christ’s command. Of course, they are making a judgment about you, which means if their interpretation is correct, they are also being judgmental in their reproof of you. If they believe correcting people is judgmental, they should stop correcting judgmental people.

With only a tiny amount of exegesis, we will see that Christ is not saying it is always inappropriate to correct someone with the word of God. In fact, this is something Scripture commands us to do, and reproof and correction are two proper uses of God’s word. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

So what is Christ telling us when he commands us not to judge? He is telling us of people who correct others but do not hold themselves to the same standard.

Read More

Scroll to top