Bible Verses About Judging
The word judgment may cast fear in the minds of many. However, the thought of mere mortals being judged by a holy and righteous God may not seem so dreadful when we think about the promise that states, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus”.
The Bible has a lot of wise counsels, stern warnings, and promises that relate to the matter of judgement and judging others. Let’s take a look at some of these Bible verses, parables, and stories and see what they say.
Bible verses about judging others
When we judge others, we cast judgment on ourselves. Here are some Bible verses that look at judging others and why we should be considerate and compassionate.
Judge not, that you be not judged. Matthew 7:1 NKJV
This text provides excellent advice on the matter of judging others. The NLT version states, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged”. Sometimes we have our own faults but people extend mercy and look the other way.
When we start to judge others, they start to highlight our faults and shortcomings. These faults that would not have been mentioned had we not cast judgment on others.
That is why verse five of the same chapter stated, “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye”. This text makes the point that we may be focused on a small matter when our offence far outweighs that which the other person has done.
Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37 NKJV
This verse not only looks at judgments but forgiveness. It is better for us to be forgiving and live in a state of unity than to be judgmental and be at odds with our friends and neighbors. Luke 7:38 states, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom.
For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” If you give forgiveness, you will receive the same but if you pass judgment, you will be judged.
But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. ³⁶Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Luke 6:35,36 NKJV
This verse is a timely reminder that you should not judge others because they have wronged you. Instead show mercy and let God be the judge of others and their actions. The NLT version says, “You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate”.
God is merciful to us even when we are worthy of condemnation and He wants us to extend that same compassion and steadfast love to others, even our enemies.
Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. ¹²There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another? James 4:11,12 NKJV
These two verses are helpful in that they warn us not to speak badly about each other. We are condemned by the law because it points out our faults and sins. That is why we should not be quick to judge others. The same law that we use to judge others is the same law that condemns us.
We have to be mindful that in judging others with the law we are not able to save ourselves. It is not the law but Christ that saves us. Romans 8:1 reminds us that, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit”.
Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. Romans 14:13 NKJV
This scripture passage was a warning by the apostle not to judge others based on their faith or lack thereof. In the first verse of the chapter he stated, “Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things”. In verse three he further went on to say, “Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him”.
We will not always have the same conviction as it relates to certain matters but that should not cause us to condemn each other or prevent us from serving the Lord based on our maturity in faith.
Bible verses about judging righteously & fairly
The Lord wants us to be impartial as we execute judgment. Here are some verses that look at fair and righteous judgements.
Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 1 Corinthians 6:2 NKJV
The children of God will be tasked with judging the world after the second return of Christ. If we will be counted worthy enough to judge angels, we should be more than able to: discern between right and wrong and attend to small matters of day-to-day life. Verse three of this same chapter states, "Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?"
You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor. Leviticus 19:15 NKJV
This text is a helpful reminder for us to put away partiality and favoritism when we judge matters. Our judgment should not be influenced by a person’s social status, wealth, or power. Rather we should assess all matters carefully from several perspectives and maintain righteousness throughout the process. Proverbs 31:9 states, “Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy.”
Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” John 7:24 NKJV
We should not judge based on the appearance of a person or situation. 1 Samuel 16:7 states, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Had it been for outward appearance David would not have been anointed as king. God chose him because he was a man after His own heart not because of his size or stature. It's very easy for us to misjudge others because of their clothes, the way they speak, or where they are from. Judging fairly requires an objective look at a person's character, ideologies, and conduct.
And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Matthew 7:3 NKJV
We should not be quick to judge others because sometimes we are guilty of far worse than what they have done. We have to be objective, kind-hearted, and merciful.
In the parable of the unmerciful servant, the unforgiving man found it hard not to condemn his servant for a small debt even after he was forgiven for a much greater debt. Micah 6:8 reminds us that we should be loving, merciful and just in our relations with others. “And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with our God?”
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Revelation 6:10 NKJV
This text is a powerful reminder that God is a righteous judge and He will make amends for His followers who were wrongly accused, judged, and condemned. Many individuals have judged others unjustly and it appears that they have gotten away with their injustices.
Revelation 11:18 points out that there will come a time when each person alive or dead will have to answer for all deeds done. “The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”
Bible verses about being judged wrongly
Judgment should be done not based on speculation but on standards of justice and righteousness. These verses look at: how to prevent incorrect judgments, some instances where wrongful judgments were passed, and what will happen to those who were wrongfully judged.
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? 1 Corinthians 6:1 NKJV
This verse points out some very important lessons.
- Children of God should be just, honest, and objective enough to deal with a matter impartially.
- Children of God should not judge by the standards of the world because the world is not governed by righteousness but legality.
- Children of God should be guided by standards of righteousness as they judge. (All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16)
- Children of God should consult His word as a guide (For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrew 4:12)
In order to prevent wrongful judgment and for justice to prevail those who judge must apply the standards of God’s righteousness.
Then Sarai said to Abram, “My wrong be upon you! I gave my maid into your embrace; and when she saw that she had conceived, I became despised in her eyes. The Lord judge between you and me.” Genesis 16:5 NKJV
This is a helpful verse for understanding why we shouldn't be quick to judge others. Hagar was quick to judge Sarai because of her inability to bear a child for her husband. She placed herself above Sarai using the fact that Sarai had no children, and she was able to become pregnant.
In Hagar's eyes Sarai was an old barren woman but in God's eyes she was the mother of the promised child. A child whose seed would be compared to the dust or sand of the sea. We judge others wrongfully because our knowledge is finite and limited.
And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking. 1 Samuel 17:42 NKJV
Goliath mocked the Israelites when he saw that David was the one sent to fight with him. He looked at his: stature, countenance, complexion, and lack of armor and wrongfully judged David's capabilities.
Certainly, David was no soldier but that does not instantly mean that he would be defeated by the giant. Goliath looked at David’s appearance but He neglected to factor in that God was mightier than the greatest champion the Philistines could produce.
This Moses whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one God sent to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the Angel who appeared to him in the bush. Acts 7:35 NKJV
This verse is taken from the speech which Stephen gave in his defense before he was martyred. He was careful to mention that the prophets of God had been wrongfully accused throughout the ages and that he is sharing the same fate with them.
In trying to help his brethren, Moses attacked an Egyptian in order to defend an Israelite. Instead of being grateful the people accused him of judging them. As a result, Moses had to flee for his life. In the end it was Moses who God chose to deliver them from Egypt.
Stephen was wrongfully accused and judged for blasphemy. When he stated that he saw Jesus sitting at the right hand of God the people took his statement as another act of blasphemy, judged him wrongfully, and stoned him to death.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10 NKJV
If you were wrongly judged for a matter the Lord will one day set the record straight. The Lord is not partial in His judgments but will determine who is just and who is unjust. 2 Peter 3:9 states that, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promises".
Those who judge you falsely will also face their judgement in the end. Revelation 22:11,12 has a great promise for those who were judged wrongly and a punishment for those who are unjust.
"He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still. ¹²And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
Bible verses about judging yourself
There are many helpful texts in the Bible that speak about judging yourself. The scripture passages below look at how you may condemn yourself when you judge others or even how to keep motivated if you place a false judgment on yourself.
For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. Matthew 7:2 NKJV
This text is simply saying to us that we place judgement on ourselves when we judge others. We need to approach matters with fairness as we cannot expect to live by one set of rules and judge others with a different set.
We cannot expect to live by mediocre standards while expecting others to live by exceptional and extraordinary standards. If that is the case we will be found wanting in our state of mediocrity when others judge us by those standards of exceptionality.
Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. Romans 2:1 NKJV
Sometimes we unknowingly judge and condemn ourselves when we judge others. The same law that we find others guilty of breaking is the same law that we struggle to abide by its precepts.
The rich young ruler thought to himself that he would be saved but when asked to give what he had to the poor he was reluctant to comply. The same law that he used to praise himself was the same law that was used to condemn him.
But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. ³And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Romans 2:2,3 NKJV
This verse goes a step further to look at what will happen to those who cast judgement on themselves by judging others. The NIV translation puts it this way, “So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?”
We will all stand before the judgment of God so we should be careful how we judge others and ourselves. We should be honest and just when judging ourselves and when dealing with others. This is necessary to prevent us from unknowingly condemning ourselves in the eyes of others or before God.
But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. ⁴For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. ⁵Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God. 1 Corinthians 4:3-5 NKJV
Here we see the apostle making an important point about judging ourselves. Sometimes we are quick to judge or even condemn ourselves. What we need to do is be mindful that it is the Lord who is able to judge us objectively and impartially.
Another point the apostle made is that we should not be hasty but allow God to do things in His own timing. God is the final judge of all spiritual matters, He knows the heart, the way we live, and whether or not we bore good or bad fruits.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 NKJV
This text is a reminder to be positive and optimistic instead of judging ourselves wrongful. There are some things which we will not be able to do in and of ourselves.
Sarai made an incorrect indictment on herself when she doubted that she could have a child. She was so doubtful that she laughed when the angels told Abram she would become pregnant.
Mark 10:27 states that, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible”. Instead of believing that your circumstances are impossible and casting a negative judgment on yourself, believe that all things are possible, be patient, and have faith that you can do anything with His help and by His strength.
Parables in the Bible about judging others
There are many parables that teach important lessons on why we should be mindful about judging others. Here are some lessons we may learn from these parables.
Parable of the Importunate Widow (Luke 18)
This parable is about a judge who had very little regard for men or God. One day a widow went to him and asked that he get justice for her adversary. She kept on going then the judge thought to himself, “Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me”. (Luke 18:4,5)
If an unjust judge who cares very little about God or humans sought justice for a woman who was wronged how much more would the Lord do? This parable is a hopeful reminder that God will one day judge and avenge His own elects who were wrongfully judged.
Parable of the man who hired laborers (Matthew 20)
This parable tells the story of a man who was looking for laborers to work his field. He went out several times during the day to get laborers but at the end of the day he gave them the same wage.
Some of the laborers judged the man saying everyone should not have received the same pay because some of the workers were there for a shorter period of time. The workers who started early in the morning and the workers who started later in the day all agreed to the same wage so the man was not at fault.
Another lesson in the story is that as workers in the vineyard of Christ we sometimes put ourselves above others thinking we do more work or have served a longer period of time in ministry. God does not measure the amount of work or the duration of our years in ministry.
He has promised a reward for all those who are faithful and patiently awaits His return. When we get to heaven some persons will not be more special than others. We will all live together as heirs of His kingdom.
Parable of the unmerciful servant (Matthew 18)
A man had a servant who owed him a small debt. He too owed someone a debt but his debt was far greater than what his servant owed him. After pleading for forgiveness, the person he owed told him that the debt was forgiven and showed mercy.
A short while after being pardoned, the man saw his servant that owed him the small debt. He was very unkind and threw the man in prison because he was not able to pay the debt.
News went back to the person who forgave him that he had his servant thrown into prison. The person judged him and condemned him. He was then thrown into prison not just for the large debt he owed but for judging and condemning his own servant.
Bible stories about judging others
There are many Bible stories on the matter of judging others. Here are some stories that remind us of the mercies and goodness of God and teach us that we should love others the same way we love ourselves.
Jonah judged the people of Nineveh (Jonah 1-4)
Jonah did not only judge the people in the city of Nineveh but he also decided that they were too wicked and not deserving of God's mercy. He knew that God was loving, kind, and merciful and was ready and willing to forgive the people if they repented.
Jonah felt so strongly about the people of Nineveh that he judged and condemned them then tried to run away from God to prevent Him from pardoning them.
Woman caught in adultery (John 8)
The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus who was caught in the act of adultery. They reminded Him that according to the law of Moses she should be stoned. This was used as an opportunity not just to condemn the woman but to judge Jesus and condemn His ministry.
Jesus did not hurriedly respond to them but first, stooped and started to write on the ground. Afterwards He said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first”. (John 8:7) No one was able to cast a stone at the woman because each person who accused her was guilty of at least one sin.
This story reminds us that the same law that we use to judge others is the same law that will be used to judge us. It also teaches us to be merciful. Jesus was more than able to discern the sins of each person who accused the woman. Instead of publicly humiliating and condemning them He allowed them to do self-reflection.
Final thoughts on Bible verses about judging
There are many lessons that we may learn about judging. We should be mindful of how we judge others because in doing so we may very well condemn ourselves. We should not worry ourselves about those who wrongfully judge or condemn us because one day soon God Himself will judge everyone according to their work.