Righteous and Unrighteous Judgments

John 5:28-30 WEB

Don’t marvel at this, for the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs will hear his voice, [29] and will come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment. [30] I can of myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous; because I don’t seek my own will, but the will of my Father who sent me.


The most famous verse about judgment in the Bible is probably “Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged.” (Matthew 7:1 WEB) Jesus had the authority to judge but judgment was not his priority. In John 3:17 Jesus reveals his purpose is to save the world. And in John 3:16 Jesus reveals that the Father’s purpose is to save the world. Also, Jesus’ priority was to do the Father’s will. That is what made his judgment righteous.

The main piece of advice Jesus has for us regarding judgment is not to judge. He helps us understand the consequences are serious for the one who makes unrighteous judgments. More, we can recognize unrighteous judgments because they are not infused with the Lord’s purposes and priorities.  We can recognize unrighteous judgments by asking a couple of questions. First, is this judgment being made to help the person get saved? Second, what does this judgment do for the one making it?

It is easy to recognize unrighteous judgments such as gossip, but other situations may be more difficult. For example, some judgments are made for personal convenience. Telling someone to hurry up or slow down are judgments. They seem innocent until we recognize they do not help the one being judged.  

Judging other people can become a habit. When a person has a habit of judging they tend to lose their patience frequently. A couple of examples could be a person who often becomes angry at other drivers or at the person in front of them at checkout. Most people trace these two examples to a lack of patience. However, before the person’s patience was affected their attitude was affected and that is where the judgments are made.


Lord Jesus, please help me recognize when I am hearing or making an unrighteous judgment. Fill me with a desire to prioritize your will as my highest priority.  In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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