"Do not judge": Need complete explaination


I always thought that “Do not Judge” means we don’t judge other’s souls. However, many people think that we cannot judge other’s actions in reference to sinning. If a friend of mine is visiting a prostitute, I’m supposed to call him out on it because I would be committing an Act of Mercy, following the “Love thy Neighbor” commandment, and following the instructions of James 5:19-20

“My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”

I believe this also includes evangelizing.

What really does “Do not Judge” mean? :confused:


You are right, “Do not Judge” means we are not to judge other **persons **in regards to the guilt of their soul for some action.

We are to judge **actions **however - to judge whether or not an action is in conformity with God’s will or whether it is contrary to it.

Judging the sinfulness of an act is not the same as judging the sinfulness of the person committing the act. Their sinfulness depends on a lot of things that we cannot know - conditions of heart and soul that only God knows.



1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3"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? 4How 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? 5You 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.

  • Mat 7
    It means dont judge another person’s soul and dont make someone else the measuring rod of how good you are. In other words dont compare yourself to others in order to conclude you are “better than” them (and how “bad/inferior” they are to you).
    This is not the same as warning a brother you know is engaging in sin: 14If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed. 15Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother. - 2 Thes 3

1Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, 5for each one should carry his own load. - Gal 6


We are not in a position to condemn others, in that sense of “judgement”. However, we are responsible to discern between right and wrong actions, both for ourselves, and for others.

Luke 12:57

57 "And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?

The word “judge” in all these passages used in the imperative mode “krinete” means to discern between or to distinguish.

“to separate, put asunder; to pick out, select, choose”
(from Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2000, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

When it comes to discernment of others’ behavior, it must be done in relation to ourselves. We are obligated not to participate in the sins of others, therefore, we need to be able to discern (judge) which behaviors are sins. :thumbsup:


You are correct in your understanding: “do not judge” refers only to the soul, not the action. In some cases, I believe, it is even possible (nay, necessary) to go beyond the act and judge the motive. An example might be if another woman were telling me lies about my husband’s fidelity, and I knew them to be lies, I could then not only judge her act (lying) to be a wrong, but also judge her motive (jealousy, spite, revenge, what have you) to be wrong. And if this person were a close acquaintance, I would very much need to discern her intentions in order to protect myself from harm!

So the argument that one should not judge anything but an action is also not always correct.

A key point to keep in mind, as well, is that many people confuse the act of judging with “judgmentalism.” But they are not the same. As I understand it, judging something simply means weighing it and making a determination as to its nature. Judgmentalism implies “sitting in judgment” over a person, feeling or acting superior, and condemnation.

It is important to note that one may judge a persons actions or motives to be sinful *without being condemning. *And the perfect example of this would be the way Jesus responded to the woman caught in adultery. Did he tell her what she did wasn’t wrong? Of course not. He told her the plain truth about her sin, but then he forgave her and directed her to “go and sin no more.”

An obligation to Truth requires that we acknowledge a sin for what it is, such as what we do with homosexuality, much to the indignation and outrage of the worldly. It would be a deception and a disservice to humanity not to call a sin a sin. However – and here’s the key difference between what Jesus did and what some people would do – we do not condemn the homosexuals for their acts. 1) We recognize that only God Almighty can condemn a soul. 2) We do not wish to see any soul condemned, rather we pray for that soul that it might be redeemed. 3) We understand that the degree to which we condemn another for his sin we seal our own condemnation for ours. We, too, have offended God, and we, too, must beg his mercy.

This is, as far as I can tell, the proper understanding of “do not judge.”



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