Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

What does it mean to "judge" someone?

People are constantly accusing others of "judging". What are you saying about someone when you are judging them?

Where do you draw the line between having an opinion about someone and "judging" them?

If I think someone has made an irrational decision, can I not have that opinion without being accusing of being "judgmental"?

Just curious. I think the term is used far too often.

Update:

problem: I don't think I've ever said that anyone here is not as good or valid as me. The problem, I think, is that when I state my opinion, people take it to mean that I automatically assume that I think I'm better than them, or something. That's not my problem, is it?

Update 2:

(((Jon M))) Good point.

23 Answers

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  • Bruce
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best answer

    Linz,

    Jesus' teachings about judgment are not only overused, but taken out of context.

    Most of Jesus' teachings about judgment concern a future final judgment, when he will separate the just from the just (e.g., John 5:27-30). That's not at issue when postchristian liberals accuse Christians of being judgmental.

    Jesus taught about an everyday "judgment" in the sense of evaluating behavior. We have to make such judgments to avoid sin, and to decide how to associate with others.

    Here's the key teaching:

    John 7:23-24: Now if a child can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath? Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment."

    A "right judgment" applies God's standards. Where people go wrong is applying standards to others that they don't apply to themselves. Here's how Jesus explained it:

    Matthew 7:1-2: "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

    We only hear verse 1 thrown at us, but the meaning is not clear until verse 2: We are to evaluate conduct by God's standards and apply those standards to ourselves.

    Cheers,

    Bruce

  • Acorn
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    (((((Linz))))) I think there is judgment and then there is JUDGMENT.

    When I remind people, as I'm wont to do, that they are judging people in direct contradiction to the gospel they claim to adhere to (Mat 7:1, e.g.), they often come back with something like "we make judgments every day. How can we not?"

    But you're right: having opinions,esp. when a person's actions threaten to harm you, or infringe on your rights, is not only natural, it's necessary.

    If a person says, "The Bible says to love each other and not to judge, so, those people who are hating and judging and sneering, even though they call themselves Christians, don't seem to be very Christian," that's an "I" statement that is a more of a fact-based opinion about what I perceive.

    But when a person says "Because you don't use the same religious terminology as I do, or because you eat meat on Fridays, or because you sprinkle instead of dunk, you aren't SAVED and God will send you to hell," that's a judgment. It's a 'you-statement' opinion that is presumptuous and arrogant. This is the kind of judgment that Jesus talked about in Mat 7:1 etc.

    Of course you always have the odd zealot who believes that just to disagree with him is a treacherous act of demoralizing judgment. They tend to be the ones who have no concept that their personal opinions might not be pure, unadulterated fact. In my experience, these tend to be the "blind-faithers" and since they are told not to think about their beliefs, they have no recourse to debate an honest opinion except to complain that you are judging them by disagreeing.

    Sorry this is so long. Seems like I can't say anything in less than 2500 words. No, I'm NOT long-winded... I prefer to think of it as *colloquial.* :)

  • Its unfortunate but true that often Christians have unfairly concluded that someone who has done something wrong is condemned to that sin or mistake forever. If that were true, it would be impossible to change, be forgiven, and grow. The Bible specifically teaches that we should treat everyone the way we'd like to be treated, and remember our own mistakes and past issues. It becomes incredibly easy to have compassion for others, and to share what we've learned from our own mistakes, when we allow the past to motivate to help others become better. Having said that, we are also commanded to speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15), declare God's truth (to those who have been taught Biblical principles - 2 Timothy 4:2); and to restore those who have become overtaken by the consequences of their own sin/mistakes.

  • 1 decade ago

    Aye I agree with you.

    Judging someone means you come to an all out decision about their: behavior, personality, and or destiny.

    The latter is kinda bad :P Because no one should judge anyones fate or destiny or claim they know where theyre going to end.

    Thats just stupid and short sighted and everything.

    However, we can make judgements based on behavior and personality, but again, personality is a little more dangerous than behavior. Because a persons personality lasts longer and is usually an integral part of their being.

    If you say for example: You're an idiot. Youre just claiming to know more about their inner core than they do, and or you think you have the right to form such an all out judgement about them.

    The concept of equality means, you are all equal...on the inside. So a person who understands this, would refrain from making such ballistic comments.

    ***

    Also, society loves positive judgements, but not negative ones. So if you tell someone: Youre a genius!! No one will say: 'youre judging them' but in fact you are.

    ***

    I know this is going to be a long answer, but I dont agree with Don H.

    The human mind NEEDS to make judgements. It needs to be able to differentiate between things. You cant stop it. Thats how it forms its solid basis. But you can guide it. So in reality, there is no such thing as: open mindedness.

    There is: constant learning and humility

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Our Lord tells us, "Judge not and you shall not be judged.....For with what measure you judge. so you shall be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get." (Mt 7:1-3)

    On earth, every person has the potential of becoming good, better and even a saint by the force and power of God's graces.

    It is our duty to help, not judge or condemn. We must help to bind up the wounds of repentant sinners, and help them become the men and women God wants them to be.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think it is mostly used to describe the act of "moralizing" another person or being overly critical. Certainly "judgment" is appropriate and necessary when dealing with other people and especially in the court of law. Perhaps one could make a distinction between judging "a person" and "a person's action." This way you are assessing the worth of the act and not the worth of the person who has value apart from what they do.

  • 1 decade ago

    THAT IS a very interesting question ... never really thought on it before... I myself have never really had issue with judging another as... well I just calls it like I sees it and then say it thus... however, these judgements are never final so then..

    Yes to me it would seem judgement is wrong as it reaches a final conclusion that is unable to be changed despite evidence to the contrary whilst opinion would be more flexible... but these are merely my personal interpretations... so...

    Plus I might not even know what I am talking about right now...

  • 1 decade ago

    This is an issue that has confused many people. On one hand, we are commanded by the Lord Jesus “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1). On the other hand, the Bible also exhorts us to beware of evil-doers and false prophets and to avoid those who practice all kinds of evil. How are we to discern who these people are if we do not make some kind of judgment about them?

    Christians are often accused of "judging" whenever they speak out against a sinful activity. However, that is not the meaning of the Scripture verses that state, "Do not judge." There is a righteous kind of judgment we are supposed to exercise—with careful discernment (John 7:24). When Jesus told us not to judge (Matthew 7:1), He was telling us not to judge hypocritically. Matthew 7:2-5 declares, "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." What Jesus was condemning here was hypocritical, self-righteous judgments of others.

    In Matthew 7:2-5, Jesus warns against judging someone else for their sin when you yourself are sinning even worse. That is the kind of judging Jesus commanded us not to do. If a believer sees another believer sinning, it is their Christian duty to lovingly and respectfully confront the person with their sin (Matthew 18:15-17). This is not judging, but rather pointing out the truth in hope—and with the ultimate goal—of bringing repentance in the other person (James 5:20) and restoration to the fellowship. We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). We are to proclaim what God's Word says about sin. 2 Timothy 4:2 instructs us, "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction." We are to "judge" sin, but always with the goal of presenting the solution for sin and its consequences—the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6).

    Recommended Resource: Hard Sayings of the Bible by Kaiser, Davids, & Brauch.

    • Betty4 months agoReport

      I don t recall in the Bible where it speaks of one sin being worse than another. We all sin. Jesus was the only one without sin.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think it is easier to give an example of this, for instance to say to someone that they are worthless and evil would be a bad case of judging them as a person, but to correct someone about to or actually doing something that is sinful is not at all judging them but merely pointing out that the action is wrong.

  • 1 decade ago

    Just know you are not judging if what you are saying is actually a fact and you may have heard or seen it with own eyes. But assuming and guessing would be judging a person.

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