Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things (Romans 2:1).
What kind of judging is the apostle talking about? Does he mean that we should make no judgment of right and wrong, in ourselves or others? That can hardly be his intention, as the Bible contains many instructions for discerning between good and evil.
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
“From such turn away.” “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.” Positive phrases such as these tell us that a Christian must judge between good and evil, between light and darkness. In fact, our eternal destiny hinges on those kinds of judgements. When someone insists that a Christian has no right to judge the actions of others, there is often cause to suspect that they do not want their own actions to be judged. While we have no personal authority to judge, or condemn, the person, we are in deep trouble if we cannot discern between light and darkness in the actions.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21).
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit (Matthew 7:15-16).
But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds (Romans 2:2-6).
What we must not do is pretend that we as individuals can stand in the place of God. If we forgive others, that does not require God to overlook their sins. If we refuse to forgive, that does not require God to overlook their repentance. “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth” (Roman’s 14:4).
We must forgive, in order to be forgiven. “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:15). It takes a tremendous load off our own backs when we can forgive others. Perhaps they have not yet dealt with God — that is not our concern. Our concern is to be free of the bitterness that will eat away inside of us and poison our relationships with others, even those who have only goodwill toward us. Our professed desire for closure on a traumatic incident may be in reality a thinly-veiled desire for vengeance. That is outside of our sphere, only God is qualified to deliver a judgment of vengeance.
One type of judgment that is required of Christians is to judge ourselves in the light of God’s Word and through the leading of the Holy Spirit.
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged (1 Corinthians 11:21).
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart (Psalm 26:2).