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In three powerful and straightforward words, Jesus commanded us, “Do not judge.” Let’s look into this Bible verse to see the whole context of what God is telling us:

 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log 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 brother's eye.” Matthew 7:1-5

Common sense tells us that there will be no real society if no one judged others. In an evil and sinful world, no community can exist for long where nobody is ever held responsible: no citizen would sit on a jury or call a failed leader to account; no teacher would grade a student's performance. And, when you come to think of it, nobody would ever forgive anyone for wrongs he had done; we only forgive people for what we accuse them, and we blame them only after we have judged them.

Furthermore, if we will look closely into it, judgments are sentiments and opinions that we come up only after we have made a considerate effort to know the evidences and facts, and, for those of us who are Christians, only after we have accessed, consulted and discussed the moral teachings of Scripture and prayed for discernment led by the Spirit. Any lazy or biased fool can have opinions; making judgments is the hard work of accountable and compassionate people.

When a person judges, he/she also forms an opinion. But an opinion is not automatically the same as a judgment. Opinions are often framed by our pride, fears or ignorance. If all we had were human opinions, we might agree with those who say we should never judge.

Judgment is what we add to discernment when we make a comparison between how things or people are and how we think they ought to be. So, in judgment, there’s a factor of dissatisfaction with the way things are and a desire to have things be the way we want them to be.

For all of these reasons, common sense implies that Jesus could not have meant that we are never to make judgments on what people, including ourselves, are up to.

But our common sense is hardly the litmus test of what Jesus meant, for in the end it is his Word that we live by. It's advantageous, then, to consider Jesus' bold command in its biblical context.

Jesus may have been moved to speak as he did by the arrogant way the Pharisees had of judging people. In Matthew 5:20 through 7:6, Jesus warns his disciples against following the traditions and practices of the Pharisees, who judged others as if they themselves were beyond judgment. What's more, they judged people by the letter, not the spirit, of the law.