Is It OK to Judge Someone?


Hi, my name is Father Mike Schmitz. Sorry,
that’s just *mumbles* (overly enunciating) Sorry. Red leather, yellow leather. Red leather, yellow leather. How now, brown cow? Hi, my name’s Father Mike Schmitz and
this is Ascension Presents. So you, I’m sure, I’m sure that you had this experience,
where you have some kind of discussion with someone who’s not Catholic or
they’re not a Christian. Maybe they’re not even a theist, maybe they’re an
atheist and at some point, the topic of morality, the issue of morality comes up and
you might say, “Well, I think that’s wrong. That behavior is, is wrong.” And someone quotes the favorite quote of the Bible for basically non-Bible believing people, is wait, what about, “Thou shalt not judge?” How about, “Judge not lest ye be judged,”
and that’s what Jesus said. And it’s in chapter seven of Matthew’s Gospel.
I’d say, “Yes, it is in chapter seven of Matthew’s Gospel.” So here’s the question:
Can Christians judge? The answer is kind of complicated because whereas Jesus does command us not to judge, he also commands us to judge. Here’s what I mean. When Jesus tells us, you know, again in chapter seven of Matthew’s Gospel, “stop judging, lest ye be judged,” you know, to take the speck out of your eye before you try to take the plank out of your neighbor’s eye, your brother’s eye, he’s commanding and prohibiting us from judging the HEART of a person, from judging the heart of a person and condemning them which makes complete sense because we can never know the heart of a person, right? We, we actually don’t have that kind of information.
We don’t have that access to that data and so we can’t judge the heart of a person. But Jesus also commands us to judge the
actions of a person in the exact same Gospel. Yeah, in fact, it’s in the exact same chapter. “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but underneath they’re ravenous wolves.” Here’s what he goes on to say, “by their fruits, you will know them. Just so,” you know goes on, “every good tree bears good fruit and every rotten tree bears bad fruit.” A good tree cannot bear good fruit and bad tree
cannot bear bad fruit. He’s saying judge people by their actions.
Judge, now, not PEOPLE. Judge where they’re at, whether they’re trustworthy or not, by what they’re doing. So, Jesus actually teaches us and commands us, we have to make a distinction, right? We have to make a distinction between good and evil,
between good and bad fruit. So Christians, we’re prohibited, absolutely prohibited, from condemning someone’s heart or from condemning or from judging someone’s heart, because we don’t have access to that information, but we CAN judge actions, as like, that was not right. And we do this on a daily basis, right? I mean just, it’s a wise thing to do. I mean, if you’re a parent, you make that distinction and you say, “Well, I don’t want my children to play with the kids down the street that I know are engaged in bad actions.” That mom and dad, your daughter says,
“Hey, can I have a sleepover at so-and-so’s house?” And you’re like, “OK, I know about that person, and I know that it would not be good, wouldn’t be wise for my daughter to hang out with that person.” Same thing if like, gentlemen, if this girl asked you out on a date and you know for a fact, that like, no actually, she … we know that she regularly lies so I’m not gonna believe her, I’m not gonna trust her with my heart. Same kind of thing like if you’re entering into a business relationship or business partnership with someone, you wouldn’t just say, “Well, I don’t want to … I know you’ve embezzled money in the past, but I don’t want to judge and I don’t want to say that’s wrong, so I’ll just enter into business relationship with you now.” It doesn’t make any sense and we know that. So when it comes to the moral life, we’re also called to do that, right, not to judge hearts, but to be able to assess, discern, and judge actions. I’ll get emails. I’ll get messages from people all the time
who say like, “OK, so can I tell you something and promise me you won’t judge me?” We have this really, really crazy, I would even actually say, irrational, fear of judgment from other people. And I remember a priest buddy of mine telling me, he said that we live in an age where, in a culture where nothing is wrong but everyone is deathly afraid of being judged. Think about that: isn’t that true in our culture? Like we’ve tried to strip away right from wrong and we live in this culture where no, nothing’s wrong, whatever you want! Just go ahead and do this, but everyone walks around deathly afraid of being judged. I think one of the reasons is because
we’re so disconnected, right? We’re disconnected from people who truly love us. We’re disconnected from people who have stable relationships with us. Our families are fractured and so we live these lives that are disconnected, but even more fully, we don’t know who we are and because we don’t know who we are,
we don’t know what our identity is. We don’t know who our dad is.
We don’t know our deep worth. And so, if I think that someone’s judging me and I haven’t discovered my true identity in Jesus as a son or daughter of God then, yes, that’s gonna be the worst thing possible. It’s gonna be the scariest thing imaginable, because you’re stripping me of who I think I am. You’re basing a judgment off of me, off of my actions or off what you think my actions are and so then, judgment can be very intimidating and can be very scary. But here what, here’s where as Christians,
we don’t need to be afraid of judgment. We don’t need to be afraid of someone looking at our actions or looking—even pretending—to look at our hearts and judging our actions. We can say, “I know who I am. I know who my dad in heaven is and so, I’m not afraid of your judgment. I AM very, very concerned with God’s judgment of me. I’m very concerned, in fact, maybe I would even say very afraid of God’s judgment of me.” That’s why we have the great consolation of God’s mercy and God’s love for us as well. At the heart of all this, you know, this fear of judgment, I think, it’s a fear that we’re not lovable, but here’s the good news of Jesus: You are lovable, even, even *laughs* when you do stuff wrong, that you are loved by him, even when others may discern that you’re not
worthy of their love, that in all things, in your successes and your failures, in your strength and in your weakness, the Father speaks over you and says,
“You are mine and you are loved.” So you don’t need to be afraid of judgment. But also, because we’ve been loved by our Father, we’re called to love others, even when they are weak and even when they fail. But we are called to discern actions and tell the truth about them. So we’re called to judge and told not to judge. We have to do it in the right way. From all of us here at Ascension Presents, my name’s Father Mike. God bless.

100 thoughts on “Is It OK to Judge Someone?”

  1. You hit the nail on the head. I can't speak for others, but I struggle with the fear of not being loveable. Thank you for this, Father Mike. "You are mine and you are loved." That feels good to hear!

  2. Personally I feel its ok to judge, how else do you come to decisions or have standards? Yet, it is NOT ok to CONDEMN. We may be the judge, sometimes jury,but NEVER executioner.

  3. Modern folks have the most difficult time differentiating the self from their own actions. Unfortunately, people conflate the two, making even discerning actions a personal attack. It's hard enough to watch a good person make bad choices, it's even harder to watch them identify with the sin, rather than merely admitting they're a sinner.

  4. It's the speck in your brother's eye, and the plank in your own. You got it backwards!! A Priest got it backwards!! And I'm new at this and know the correct phrase!! Yay, I'm learning!!

  5. Wonderful video. It's so important that we have this approach in our hearts and also a great response to this objection when we judge in a Godly way.

  6. Hello, Fr. Mike. I was just wondering what translation of God's Word you're using. It sounds like the New American Bible, but I may be wrong.

  7. After much thought, here is the problem with judging "actions" by the conservative right: 1. They truly believe that ANY manifestation of Homosexual Love is a SIN! Therefore the mere thought of 2 gay people, married or not, being intimate and having sexual relations is a despicable abomination towards God and they literally believe in Sodom and Gomorrah. So they are FALSELY judging the actions of their gay brothers and sisters to be a mortal sin when it's none of there business and who are they to judge.

  8. Forgive me Father, but I'm judging you…for failing to speak to the flock about the moral failings of racism and bigotry

  9. I find it interesting that you did not rerecord this. The speck and the plank and also the good tree good fruit. Still a good message even with the slips. God bless.

  10. then if the clergy is to judge (bad vs good) why are they so afraid to call islam for what it is?  evil.  And then try to get moslems out of islam instead of saying that allah is God when it is not?  I see a pile of clergy – right up to the Popes, at least since Vatican II, unable to realize that they have allowed something in our catechism that leads people astray.  By saying just because the moslems worship one 'god' they hold the faith of Abraham therefore they will be on the plan of salvation too.  Their idea of 'Abrahamic' isn't even what we think of it!  Let alone allah NOT being God!  they blaspheme not only the Holy Spirit by saying that Mary is the 3rd person of the Trinity, but blaspheme Jesus and God the Father with their allah that is a liar, a thing that demands we worship it or die, and it hates.

    Look up the moslem's idea of being Abrahamic – koran 60:4 and keep in mind moslems don't read Genesis.  They don't read that he is the father of many nations.  they don't have any idea about that.Notice the words 'excellent example'  that is also how mohamed is described.  But it is qualified by '… we are disassociated from you… you animosity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone…'BUT YOU MAY NOT IMITATE Abraham when asking for forgiveness for you… "I will surely ask forgiveness for you, but I have not [power to do] for you anything against Allah"So when the moslem world gets a greeting from us that say 'we should be like Abraham' – to moslems that means that we (moslems) should hate you.Our clergy are afraid to judge islam for what it is.  Our clergy are fearful and in that fear they lead many astray.

  11. Us Catholics DON'T judge people Protestants do, because when a Protestant know your a Catholic they're immediately conclude that your going to Hell!

  12. Father please clear up all of this End of the world nonsense everyone has been spewing, I just need to get it cleared up

  13. Love these videos. I found myself quoting loads of good stuff gleaned from them in a discussion yesterday Thank you Fr Mike

  14. Can you make a video explaining why the Bible matters? Christians always make videos about being a Christian aimed at people who are already Christian. I want to know why you are a Christian in the first place. Why do you believe in the Bible in the first place. Saying that lots of people believe it or that it's been around for a long time isn't a valid answer. You could say that same thing about Islam.

    -A former Catholic

  15. Thank you,Fr. Mike ! My family loves your videos. I agree with what you said and believe it to be a good explanation of Our Lord's teaching on judging others.Still, I feel your comments lack a bit of heart and pastoral care; I think someone who writes to a priest asking to not be judged may not necessarily be just asking to be excused, told what they do is ok,but probably is actually attempting to approach the Sacrament of Reconcilation,even remotely,perhaps, and like the father in the story of the prodigal son,we must be watching for their approach with great anticipation,and help them toward straightening things out,first by mercy,listening,acceptance of them and then moving onto teaching…May the Lord bless you and Mary keep you in your priesthood

  16. Father Mike, you bring so much joy to my life.  I'm so happy and proud to receive your knowledge of the Bible xxUK Thank you for sharing with us.xx

  17. That was a wonderful speech Father. Thank you so much. God know i need it right now. I used (and still working about it) to judge people, thinking negative about other people for so so many years. I was so tired of it. On Sept 1st 2017, First Friday Mass, I went to a confession. And I said it to a priest about this, and I finally got the answer i was waiting for so many years, the priest told me to ask for God's grace for 'the purity of mind'. First time for me to hear about this. Upon hearing it, my heart was jumping, screaming….. "THAT'S IT! That's what I've been waiting for!!!" Finally i have hope again, a new thing, a new grace to ask God for, the purity of mind. Thank you for informing that it's ok to judge, but to the action of that person, not judge him/her as an individual / heart. Thank you so much Father. God bless you, and may you always be a blessing to others.

  18. The distinction should be made between CRITICIZE (from Greek CRINOMAI, distinguish/discern Good from Evil in order to chose the proper path), and JUDGE (leave it to God). If we JUDGE someone, we condemn him doing God's job (plus, there always repentance). However, sins against the Holy Spirit should always be judges because they lead directly to Hell.

  19. Fr. You kind of strayed off….The scripture you quote, Matt 7:1 to 7: 15. You skipped the part where Jesus says to take the plank out of your eye first, before you notice the splinter in your brother's eye. He talks about not being a hypocrite. People now abuse the "don't judge", to do what they want. These words of Christ have been reworded to stop anyone from addressing a problem.

  20. #askfrmike My husband and I became Catholic 3 years ago, but 9 years ago we did IVF because my husband and I couldn't conceive. Today we have 4 kids and 3frozen embryos. We are trying to discern what we should do now, especially considering that we are now Catholic and we know that the Church doesn't support IVF. The real moral problem is that these three babies exist, and it would seem like an abortion to destroy them. To donate them to science would seem like an abomination. To keep them frozen seems both costly and pointless. To have them implemented seems to be defying the church…The usual WWJD question doesn't seem to apply here because Jesus would never have gotten into this mess in the first place. The thing is, I heave lived my life doing what seems right to me for a long time. This has taught me that it can be prideful and destructive to do what I think is best. I need to seek godly council for God's direction. So given that I am in a messy situation outside of God's will already, how do I clean this mess up and get on track?

  21. It's amazing to me, that when we, as Christians speak about right and wrong, in God's eyes, you're automatically called "judgmental". Speak the Truth in Love, Jesus says. If they choose to walk away, fine.

  22. Is the Earth a Spinning Ball? or is it a Flat Firmament as your Religious Texts say? and How would that effect your Perspective if it were Flat?

  23. Mr Mike –
    You are really easy to listen to.
    You are entertaining as well as informational.
    However, is there a reason you chose the Catholic religion or were you just born into it?

    As much as I like and agree with many of the things you say – I do not agree with your theology. I do not agree with your choice to serve a Pope and his words instead of serving God and His Word.

    Do you actually know that your religion is anti-christ and you get a kick out of deceiving people or are you really clueless (after years of occult, masonic seminary).

    I'm guessing you are a Jesuit Freemason and are happy knowing you are taking thousands to hell with you. There are many priests who have had light bulb moments where they learned that the Catholic cult was truly satanic in nature and got out!

    I pray you will do the same.

  24. In my confirmation class, they have this book and the author made videos for it which seem VERY judgemental about everything. This is the guy we need instead.

  25. I am so encouraged by your videos. Thank you.

    I think at least some part of the fear of being judged is that there is a piece of them that knows they are fallen and depraved, and is terrified of the wrath of a holy God. If you said it, they would deny it, but they aren't good at listening to their inner being.

    There are plenty of places where the explicit command is "Judge justly" and it is even said "you will judge angels". We need exceptionally good capability to judge. If they want to pick and choose, ask them why they don't know Rev 21:8 but they do know Matthew 7. Ask why they didn't pick Rev 21:8 as their "go-to" verse. They are coming to the text with an agenda outside of "discovering and retaining truth".

    I think your stumbling verbally at the beginning of the video helps me see your humanity. It makes your words easier to receive. Thank you.

    I think you missed a point. There are people who are monsters. Villains. They exist. They are discoverable as such. They are wolves out for blood, and they have drunk it before, and if left unimprisoned they will do it again and again. Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. You may know a tree by its fruits. You may know it. You are using words and actions over time to get a clear picture of the heart. You absolutely must judge rightly what you clearly understand. If you have clear insight to a mans heart then you are morally obligated to respond rightly – whatever that means.

  26. Fr. Mike, I remember the Bible says: "Be meek like the doves but sharp like the serpent". God granted us with mind and intellect to discern right from wrong and for this reason to act naive is not only "stupid" but it can be a sin, since we have the parable of the talents and we are going to be judged for what we did with the "intellect talent". There are four "cardinal virtues" and as St. Thomas Aquinas affirms: "Prudence is practical wisdom" in everyday and ordinary circumstances. In Mexico there is a popular quote that I translate: "The devil knows more as an old angel than as a devil". During the Roman Empire the "Senate", at that time, those who not only were law-makers, like nowadays, but also had executive government-decisions, belonged to the "old people", from there the latin foot "senatus" which even today has this latin root anglicized: "Senate". And this is because if we make good and profitable use of the "intellect talent", then using "practical reason" – Prudence, cardinal virtue- we acquire experience and expertise. So I agree, we must NOT judge people's heart but their deeds, since we don't want to be deceived by those "sophists" who seem like blameless lambs but they are nothing but that; then we have not only the right, but the moral duty NOT to keep silence and speak up, when something is wrong. When liars don't use anymore the word: "abortion" because is not politically correct and they say: "interruption of pregnancy", then we have to be clever "judging" and being aware that this distorted semantic expression in practical terms, plain and simple means: "murdering an innocent baby".

  27. Judgements are natural God has given us each a moral.code through our feelings so when we see bad things we judge it's natural

  28. This makes sense. Sometimes people get upset when I get upset with a friend. Well when I see them doing something that is going to hurt them, then I will speak up. I care about them and that is the reason I say something about it. Some people think I am being judgemental and mean. No. If I didn't care about them, I would not speak up. The fact I say something is because I care about them.

  29. Ironic. My sister and I were just having a discussion that was in a round about way related. I'm curious what your thoughts are on judging a person for something like the music they like or choose to listen to for example. Say it's not a Christian band or artist but garden variety secular music that has no religious, faith based or spiritual implications in it's lyrics or melody. I realize the act of that a person listening to said secular music is by definition an "action" but would that action fall under the category of being something you as a Christian/Catholic (or whatever religion you might practice that's based on the written word) would need to judge or even condemn them on in your opinion? There are lots of other similar examples I could site here but I think this is sufficient in trying to get clarification regarding the subject matter.
    Does the music a person listens to define their heart? I mean within reason of course…
    The examples you cited in your message here (which I think is a great lesson that enlightens us on discerning the difference between judging someone's heart vs their actions) are either morally based or giving the insinuation or implication that they're based on morals.

  30. I use to be a Satanist and then moved into Luciferianism (Traditional Devil Worship)… if I become Catholic will God forgive me? I was baptized a Baptist growing up, but not sure about my faith my whole life. I'm 34 now, is there any hope?

  31. Of course we're called to judge people's actions. Discerning between "right" and "wrong" is the core of the Faith. What we need to remember, though, is that our personal interpretation of that difference isn't the end-all-be-all. I would say that the most basic definition of a sin is an action that victimizes someone else. Anything else is a matter of heart, and we should never assume that we are better judges of a person's character than God.

  32. Dear Father Mike,

    Peace of Christ.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful video. My friends and I were just having a conversation about why we should/shouldn't judge someone. And I actually gave him a quote from Matthew 7:1 onwards to say we shouldn't. I understand there is always a deeper meaning to what Lord Jesus spoke and thank you for clarifying it.
    I have watched some of your videos and enjoy them very much. Thank you once again for sharing the word of God.

    God bless.

    Chris

  33. Father Mike, I’m confused… I understand what God’s word says about judging/ not judging. Very clear to not judge someone’s heart, but the examples you gave were of people you seemingly would have known about. (Their history) But what about someone we don’t know, example so many people judge celebrities and their lifestyle choices, but how can we know their heart or even think of judging them when we don’t know them? We only know what the media shows us about their life, which is often misconstrued. In this case shouldn’t we just pray for them and not judge them or even speak about them as that would be considered gossiping too???

  34. – Well we shouldn't judge
    – Well according to this lame book this is and isn't moral and we should call out good vs evil
    – but God forgives all
    – but don't be afraid of what you do and think

    but whats the reality?

    I can give you a laundry list of people that shame people for their life choices.

    People who turn their heads to those in need.

    I get you that we shouldn't be afraid but the same is true of all those who go to your mass.

    They say they are not afraid, they pretend to be holy, but their fruits are lack luster.

  35. BIBLE… The meaning and sole purpose of the Bible is,

    BASIC. INSTRUCTIONS. BEFORE. LEAVING. EARTH 🙌🏻🙏🏻😎😎😎 God bless us all🙏🏻🤗🤗

  36. Judging bad, sinful, evil or immoral behavior is a GOOD thing, because then you have to make a clear distinction and separation between what is right and what is wrong, whether you are the person doing the bad things or whether it is someone else doing it.

    That is not the same as condemning the actual person who engages in such negative behavior. We can make clear Judgment Calls to criticize someone's observably bad behavior, without being rude, abusive or condemning towards them personally.

    Jesus Christ Himself clearly states in JOHN 7: 24-

    "Judge not according to appearance, but judge just judgment."

  37. Its ok to judge and discern. "Judge not lest ye be judged" Well its ok, and necessary to BE judged. So enough with the relativism already.

  38. I’m concerned with Gods judgement, I only desire to be pleasing in His sight. Help me Jesus to be most pleasing🙏🏻

  39. I've been dealing with depression for years. Your videos are just like such a breath of fresh air though. I love listening to your words. They bring me so much clarity and joy. Thank you Father Mike. I've been feeling so confused and conflicted about the chaotic politics these past few years. But now I feel like a weight is lifted and everything makes so much more sense now. I decided to leave it all up to God. It's weight is too heavy on my heart. Pray for me. I'm looking forward to becoming Catholic this next year. I've been reading the Bible as well. God bless you.

  40. To me this means we are called by God to make good choices, holy choices and this requires clear, moral and compassionate thinking. Only God is capable of making judgements of the heart.

  41. I agree to the extent of you shall not judge. "you don't know what is in a persons heart ???". BUT doesn't a Bible say ""Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?”"😨😨😨 We call someone a liar like we have never told a lie in our entire life or we call someone adulterers "like they say in the Bible" like we never committed adultery in our entire life if not in our body in our minds…….. (by the way JESUS says ""He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."" ) The list goes on. if that is what it means, that we can judge them in some ways then why did HE add this "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" ? For me it's like DO NOT JUDGE IT'S NOT YOUR PLACE PERIOD. We are not clean enough to judge. that is GOD'S place since HE IS THE PERFECTION AND NEVER COMMITTED A SIN HE IS THE JUDGE. The rest of us we have the right not to trust a person who lie to us or ……….. But we don't have the right to call them names and tag them with their sin, since we all are sinners one way or the other. Anyways that is my way of not judging.

  42. Awesome as usual.!!!!
    Thank you. You know how to take some of our most calculated teachings and 1- break it down for most people simply (I do this myself) and get to a more open conversation about our beautiful and Holy Church and faith. At the very least God just had you plant the seed! If your lucky you get to see it grow. 😁

  43. Fr Mike has a different kind of compassion…One that makes God difference in a lost and aching to be loved and to love world. Lord help us

  44. This is so so important to share. Many or I should say most Christians are very confused on this. Even I was up until 2 years ago. 🙏Amen. Father thank you for working through Fr. Mike. Please I ask you continue to bless him with the Graces needed to keep reaching us in the dark from the TRUTH.

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