I once read that the most used verse by non Christians and “Christians” was ” Do Not Judge,” and the verse in Matthew 7:1 and is usually the verse that is held up as ” The Bible says so.” It does, but the way some use it is though it means ,there is never a reason to “judge,” them in light of right from wrong, Godly versus Ungodly. The miss-use of the verse  is used as a shield to keep from accountability for their sin. The Pharisees were quick to judge others sin but not hold themselves accountable for their own sin! They were not imposing on themselves what they were imposing on others! Judging others with a critical self-righteous spirit is what is at stake. They “magnified” the sin of others whom they judged while minimizing their own sin! “… 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? 

“DO NOT JUDGE,”– It does not mean we do not judge between truth and error, right and wrong. It does not mean we do not differentiate.  We are not to judge critically, self righteously. We are not to judge others because they differ from us in some preferences they may hold to that do not effect the truth of Scripture, like what they eat or do not eat… Paul says, ” Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this– not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. ” -{Rom 14:13}. We are not to judge the motives of others, since we do not know them and to project that we do know upon them is evil. For love believes the best.

In Matthew 7:1-12 , we have human relationships in view and He begins with STOP CRITICIZING!. Sitting in judgement of others, critically and self-righteously looking down on them and with lovelessness is to play God! Feeling, thinking you have a right to judge their motives, and in doing so creating barriers to healthy relationships. Eliminate the criticizing, condemning, loveless attitude and replace with Love an you have different relationships! STOP CRITICIZING!

  • Every time you criticize somebody because they don’t do something the way you think it ought be done, or because you think you’ve figured out their motive, you pass judgment and set yourself up as God. Listen to what one writer said, “Judge not. The workings of his brain and of his heart thou cannot see. What looks to thy dim eyes a stain, in God’s pure light may only be a scar brought from some well-won field where thou wouldst only faint and yield.” Don’t play God.  “-{John Mac Arthur}

“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.”-{Matt 7:1-5}

Usually the people who see everything wrong in somebody else’s life see absolutely nothing wrong in their own life. And the only gross, vile, wretched sin that never sees anything wrong in its own life is what? Self-righteousness. And that’s what the plank is. As long as you’re self-righteous, as long as you’re spiritually proud, as long as you set yourself up as a judge, you can’t help anybody out with any sin. It is interesting,though, that in the Lord’s caricature, that is a far worse sin than any other, because it plays God. It is the vilest of all sins. Do you realize that every situation in the New Testament, Jesus condemns sin, not the sinner, except one, self-righteousness. And there He blasted the sinner with the sin, because it is the worst sin of all. It plays God. It denies the gospel. It denies the need for redemption. It says, “I’m holy like I am.”And so the plank is self-righteousness.

And as long as you’re self-righteous, and you think you’re all right, and you never bother dealing with your own sin, there’s no way you’re going to help anybody else. You’re blind. It is the sin of subtle, self-righteous criticism. And it’s a plank in your own eye. And you cannot help anybody else.”-{Mac Arthur} 

The verse, Matthew 7:1, is speaking of judging condescendingly, critically, harshly, self-righteously, James 4:11-12 says, “DO NOT SPEAK AGAINST…”speaking in a slanderous way, lacking in mercy and love. Yet in Matthew 7 Jesus shows that He is not saying, “‘do not judge,” discern, for He goes on to speak of making right judgment calls, discernment in regards right and wrong behavior, He is not teaching do not judge right from wrong, but do not judge harshly, mercilessly, lovelessly, as the passage teaches do not Judge HYPOCRITICALLY! Hyper-critical a fault finder. Lacking love, mercy. Holding others to a standard that you do not hold yourself to, and condemning them! STOP CRITICIiZING others through Self Righteousness and playing God!

Ray Pritchard elaborates on “faultfinders” (“spiritual vultures”) concluding that…

Faultfinding is the “venom of the soul.” It destroys our joy, drains our happiness, and prevents us from having close friendships. No one likes a faultfinder because no one likes being around a nit-picking critic. This sin comes partly from spiritual pride and partly from disguised envy. We criticize others in order to bring them down to our level. Or worse, we tear them down to prove they are really beneath us. Faultfinding is a deadly disease because if not kept in check, it turns us into cynics (people who believe the worst about other people or the outcome of events) who expect the worst from others. The faultfinder expects failure and secretly gloats when he finds it. Is it any wonder that the faultfinder almost always is a gossip and a talebearer? First we spot the flaws of others and then we can’t wait to spread the news. There is such a thing as a spiritual vulture. Like the vultures of the air that live off dead, rotting flesh, these sad individuals thrive on the mistakes and sins of others. They fly across the landscape, keeping a close eye out for the failures of others. Then they swoop in for their daily feast. (Matthew 7:1-5 Judge Not!) (Bolding added)

H W Beecher once said that…

The cynic is one who never sees a good quality in a man, and never fails to see a bad one.”


“DO NOT JUDGE…” -{Rom 14:4,10}. Paul says in regards “preferences,” non essentials, by looking down on someone, and he speaks of those who are weak in the faith.

Do not sit in judgement of another’s motives when you or I  do not know the thoughts, motives of another.


Judge, speaks of discernment, knowing the difference, evaluate,differentiate between good, evil, right wrong. Note in Matt 7 the difference aspects they are to judge, for examples between holy, swine,good fruit,.

so in the passage that says,”DO NOT JUDGE” He tells us to judge! He is saying do not be Critical, not, do not be Discerning! we are TO JUDGE.


Consider the verses below…

1. – Jesus says we are to Judge righteously in John 7:24 -“Do not judge according to appearance, but BUT JUDGE WITH RIGHTEOUS JUDGEMENT.” -{John 7:24}

2. – Jesus tells us we are to judge by “fruit.”“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they ”  Matt 7:15-16,

3. – Believers must Judge {distinguish} between true and false doctrine.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”- (1John 4:1)

“Now these (Bereans) were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining (a word used in Greek to describe the questioning of someone in order to pass a judicial sentence!) the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so.{Acts 17:11}

” but test{examine, prove} everything; hold fast what is good.”- 1 Thess 5:21

4. -We are told to JUDGE OURSELVES, -“…now if we JUDGE OURSELVES RIGHTLY, we would not be judged”- {1 Cor 11:31}.


THE WORD OF GOD equips us for “every good work”- “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching,rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, SO THAT the servant of God  may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” -{Read 2 Tim 3:16-17}  God’s Word EQUIPS US to be able to see things from God’s perspective, “…But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” -{Heb 5:14}

So are we to “Judge Or Not To Judge,”- discern, examine and make a judgment call? The The above verses says we are to do BOTH!

Scripture says “Let all you do, be done in Love”-{1 Cor 16:14} and in Matthew 7:1-5 Love is absent!

But as regards the popular saying ” We are not to Judge, the Bible says so” is to misrepresent God and take His Name in vain, to dishonor Him.