Thinking Cap # 12 - The Question: Should Christians Judge & Confront Sin in Other's Lives?

Ever have someone retort, "Christians aren't supposed to judge others!" when you are pointing out sin in their life? If you have been a Christian longer that one millisecond, you have either had that comment leveled at you or have heard others use it. Judging from Matt. 7:1 ("Judge not, that ye be not judged."), they would appear to be on solid Biblical ground. But, as Paul Harvey would say, is there a "rest of the story?" Your question to ponder is "Should Christians judge and confront the sin in other's lives?" Should you care to jump in, I welcome your Scripturally based response by midnight, May 5.

Here's how I would handle the question.

  • I would quickly admit that we are not to "judge." Mt. 7:1 speaks of an effort to distinguish for the purpose of trying, condemning, or punishing. That is not our responsibility, although we baptists can get pretty good at it and some even appear to have that as their "spiritual gift."
  • I would ask you to read the rest of the passage (so that you can interpret the verse in context). Verse 5 tells us to "first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." It would appear to me that we are to "clean up our own act" so as to be able to discern/identify ways in which others are "missing the mark" (which is what the word "sin" roughly means in the sixteen Greek words used to represent it). Once done, we are to remove the "mote" from our brother.
  • Because we are not to "judge" others which is a sin, does not infer that we should not "reprove" others, which is our duty.
  • Being aware of what is wrong in our own lives should not keep us from administering friendly reproof to our fellow Christians.
  • John seems to alude to this in Jo. 8:1-11 as Jesus deals with the woman caught in adultry. Jesus said that he that was without sin "of this type" was to cast the first stone.
  • We are also admonished to be concerned with "sin" in fellow Christians from Lev 19:17 ("thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.)
  • The key is in your motive and your meekness. Are you doing it out of a genuine desire to see them restored to a right relationship with Christ? Gal. 6:1-2 gives us the pattern "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault [a side-slip (lapse or deviation), i.e. (unintentional) error or (wilful) transgression], ye which are spiritual, *restore* [to complete thoroughly, i.e. repair (literally or figuratively) or adjust] such an one in the spirit of *meekness*; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."
  • Pleasant Thinking. Kent Haralson


    Return to Thinking Cap Homepage


    Copyright 1998 by the Gospel Martial Arts Union All rights reserved.