Why is this sin such a big deal?

Once it comes to judging. It seems to drive people up the wall. Why is it so ugly? Why does matter so much? I think it can be annoying. I do not generally get annoyed or find it so offensive when someone is “judgmental.”

Hello Cratus.

Keep in mind what Jesus meant when He said, do not judge. Back in the time of the Jews they had actual judges that decided any and all cases brought to them by the people and these judges were held in high regard and were the remedy for all things both civil and religious. A case, such as the woman caught in adultery, is an example of the expectation that was normal among the Jews of Jesus’ day that they’d try her and find her guilty and carry out the sentence right there all within a few hours or even minutes based upon the testimony of a few witnesses. That is an example of judging. But today, when a person brings up something they think is distressing and wants to speak against it, such as abortion or contraception, they are told they are guilty of “judging,” but they really aren’t calling for an instantaneous trial and execution of a serious crime are they? No. They are simply speaking out against an evil and get accused by those who support that evil or who seem to have twisted our Christianity into a shape that says NEVER raise your voice against anything at all or you aren’t really Christian because GOD LOVES EVERYONE and you are expected to behave as if you do too and treat everyone like they are your most loved child, your best friend and your most loved neighbor, to the point of nausea because being Christian means never complaining about anything at all no matter the cost.

Ummmmmm…not exactly what God calls us to. Remember the turbulent times Jesus came to His people in and that He said He came not to bring peace, but the sword and that His words would put mother against daughter, and son against father, etc. We are never to be afraid to speak the truth whether in season or out of season, but always in charity and with prudence. So when some accuse me of being judgmental, I stop and think and see if what they are saying has any truth in it because I sometimes have too much emotion behind the things I say, but I’ve never asked for a judgment to be rendered in the Biblical sense that God meant when He said not to judge least I be judged. So, it hardly ever applies and I try not to converse with those who falsely accuse me of being judgmental when I speak my mind. At that point in the conversation they are usually too negative for dialog from me to be much use. They simple expect those words to be the final end of any discussion. It usually is but not for the reason they think it is. Talking to such persons is like beating one’s head against a wall. They aren’t open to honest discussion and everything you say after that will seem as if you are defending yourself against their accusation.

So, does that help you understand why this gets to be such a big deal?


When we zero in on the perceived sins of others, we have a propensity to ignore our own. This leads to selfrighteousness, and is a distraction from our own need to repent and do penance.

Our LORD had a particular aversion to those who were selfrighteous or focussed on the “speck in another’s eye” while ignoring the “beam” in their own. We have more than enough Purgatory to work off ourselves and don’t really have the discretionary time to be the correctors of others.


The Scriptural prohibition against “judging” is Matthew 7:1: “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.”

In context, Matthew 7:1-5, it is more expansive and nuanced than that:

“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s[a] eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour,** “Let me take the speck out of your eye”, while 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 neighbour’s[c] eye.”

The notion that any judgment is a moral failing is a modern one and it arises not from Scriptures but from the rise of the secular mind mavens such as Freud. It is the same moral and intellectual disease that is leading Americans to endorse same sex marriage, a sort of intellectual lobotomy that can’t sort good from bad, food from poison.

The reason why the Scripture is confusing is because “judge” in English is equivocal. We only know what it means from context. It can be a verb or a noun, it can mean exercise good taste in selecting a tie or sending a man to the gallows.

Christians are admonished in other Scriptures to exercise judgments, to bring errors to the attention of the fellow Christian, if necessary to bring that Christian to the Church itself, and if necessary excommunicate him or her.

What this text admonishes is failure to exercise forgiveness recognizing that we will be judged by God using the standard we set in our lives in judging others.

This embellishes the more comprehensive prohibition against making judgments reserved to God Himself. While we can judge that this or that is a sin, we cannot judge the subjective state of anyone in their relationship to God.


OTOH, two of the Spiritual Works of Mercy are to instruct the ignorant and to adminish the sinner. While it is true that one can become focused on the sins of others to the exclusion of our own sins, in order to *help *others, we need to increase in holiness sufficiently to be able to accomplish these works of mercy well, no?

To me, “judging” in the passage you quoted means to somehow determine the state of a person’s soul. If I say, You did this–you’re going to Hell!, that would be judging.

But what usually happens is more like this:
Friend: I’ve fallen in love with a wonderful man and we are going away for the weekend together and everything is fantastic!

Me: But what about your husband?

Friend: Oh, you know how miserable I’ve been with him. I thought you’d be happy for me.

Me: What you are doing is a mortal sin! You need to stop and refocus on your marriage.

Friend: You’re being judgemental! Christ said not to judge!

Now, the “I” of this story did not say that the friend’s soul was in a state of mortal sin, simply that the act she was contemplating is a mortal sin. This is the difference between speaking objectively and subjectively. I can say, this action is objectively a mortal sin; however, a person might commit that sin and be judged by God as having a reduced culpability and so not being in a state of mortal sin.

It seems like nowadays “Thou shalt not judge” is used to deflect any notion that one’s own actions might be wrong according to some measure external to the person committing the sin.

Exactly! I agree with everything GEddie wrote, but I think the distinction you make is an important one. We mustn’t be afraid of sounding “judgmental” if we’re making an honest attempt to gently help someone. I believe Christ Himself was judgmental in this precise sense. And to take it a step further, if someone chastises us for coming across as judgmental, we should fully accept what they say without any comment or defense or explanation. It’s good for our egos.:slight_smile:

Christ said something like, “Everything your judging in another person are really only your own faults.”

How do you know?

How do you know?

Additionally, this is not what is usually said. What is usually said is that people are annoyed when others manifest faults they themselves have. I happen to disagree… but that is a very different thing from what we are discussing. And I don’t think Christ said this; St Augustine did then lots of people started saying it.

Hey!!! Leggo my ego!!!



Sorry, it wasn’t Jesus but it was part of scripture so it’s still true. — Romans 2:1

I do not steal. If I judge someone for stealing. It is not my own fault. I may be wrong in judging. We are all sinners, yes, but we do not all sin in the same way. It is interesting how vastly different people interpret scripture. Everyone thinks they know God, yet we all have often contradictory beliefs. One person’s definition of correction, is another person’s definition of being judgmental. Perhaps, none of us honestly know God as well as we think. We are all biased to a degree. God forgives us. As much as I agree that their high standards for a Christian to be, I think God does know we are only human. While, our fallen nature does not excuse use from sin.

I think that should be considered in context of the whole passage. I think it is warning about hypocritical judgment.

Ha!:smiley: I just meant that I think God looks at our intentions more than anything else. So, if we do the right thing for the wrong reason we’re okay. It’s tricky. But if we sincerely attempt to help someone, who cares what we may look like in the process. Sometimes that kind of radical humility is the way to go.:shrug:

That’s what I’m saying too. You must be a hypocrite if you are judging something because it must be part of your life as well. There are infinite number of sins out there occuring, do u think that u see everyone, of course not, I hope noone is that evil. But the eyes are the window to the heart.

I think the note about the two works of mercy listed, admonishing the sinner and instructing the ignorant are good examples of what gets called judgmental when it gets done.



Well put Cratus.Although we have been gifted with free will by God I think that we as humans can be blinded by our own honest ingnorance ( I mean that kindly) of just what this encases.We are all sinners from time to time becauses of this. I don’t think that we have have the power to peer into anothers soul and deem them saved or doomed. I believe this to be the power of God and God alone.I believe our souls to be a reflection of our true faith regardless of how strong or weak. Our constant need to compare ourselves to others is ever present to this very day. Our perception of the true Will of God can be in contrast to those of others but it does not make either wrong. Each of us assumes ourselves to be right in the eyes of God. Because of the ever present evil around us conflicts ensue.Striving for enlightenment feeds our souls.Opening our hearts can only be done by ourselves. God cannot but has provided us with the key to do so.It is in (my opinion)up to us to invite Him in. We are held responsible for the choices we make and can only pray that they are the right ones in the eyes of God. The above is simply what I believe and in no way intended to interfere with with the beliefs of others. God Bless

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