1 Judge not, that you may not be judged, 2 For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why seest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye; and seest not the beam that is in thy own eye? 4 Or how sayest thou to thy brother: Let me cast the mote out of thy eye; and behold a beam is in thy own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam in thy own eye, and then shalt thou see to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. (St. Matthew 7:1-5)
Jesus is Commanding us to not judge others… He even offers quite a visual: man tends to criticize/judge others even when their fault/error is miniscule; while this judgment is taking place, the one who judges may be guilty of tremendous errors/sins against God and man–hence, the judgment is flawed and an additional sin has been committed (hypocrisy/boasting)…
Further, Judgment is God’s responsibility, not man’s.
Does that mean that we are to emulate hollowood’s spiritualism (“don’t judge me” or “respect”)?
No. Scriptures tells us what God expects from us… we are Created in God’s Image and Likeness–this means that we are Called to emulate and obey God.
So while you cannot judge me by telling me: “…you’re going to hell! (something that neither of us can actually foresee)” You can certainly judge if my behavior, language, or abstinence (refusal to do what is good in the eyes of God) is contrary to my spiritual and physical wellbeing… and you, as a fellow Believer, can counsel me, in Christ’s Charity, against any unrighteousness (actual–not just perceived).
Ver. 1. Judge not, or condemn not others rashly, that you may not be judged or condemned. (Witham) — St. Jerome observes, Christ does not altogether forbid judging, but directs us how to judge. Where the thing does not regard us, we should not undertake to judge. Where it will bear a favourable interpretation, we should not condemn. Magistrates and superiors, whose office and duty require them to judge faults, and for their prevention to condemn and punish them, must be guided by evidence, and always lean towards the side of mercy, where there are mitigating circumstances. Barefaced vice and notorious sinners should be condemned and reprobated by all. (Haydock) — In this place, nothing more is meant than that we should always interpret our neighbor’s actions in the most favourable light. God permits us to judge of such actions as cannot be done with a right intention, as murder. As to indifferent actions, we must always judge in the most favourable sense. There are two things in which we must be particularly on our guard: 1. With what intention such an action was done. 2. Whether the person who appears wicked will not become good. (St. Jerome)