Romans 14 Lesson

Judging others

Chapter 14 focuses almost exclusively on why we should not judge others.

Consider the following scriptures:

  • “Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” – Romans 14:4.

  • “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.” – Romans 14:13. 

  • “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.” – Luke 6:37.

  • “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?” – James 4:12.

As we have seen, God tells us not to judge others.   So why do people do it?   Perhaps people try to point out the flaws or shortcomings of others to make themselves look or feel better?    That is wrong, and as we have just seen, God tells us not to do it.   The Pharisees and the scribes did that, and Jesus had harsh words for them and a stern warning for us:  

For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses  that  of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. ” – Mathew 5:20.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says:

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;  so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

People will sometimes read this scripture and think that it means we are to go around judging and correcting others. That would contradict all the scriptures that we just read, and God is not a God of confusion (see 1 Corinthians 14:33). Instead, when you read 2 Timothy 3:16-17, read it from the perspective that God is talking about self-reflection and apply the scripture only to yourself. Paul uses the words:

  • “Teaching”
  • “Reproof”
  • “Correction”

He is asking us to look at ourselves and to learn from God’s word.

Do we want to teach others? Of course we do.   However, we may not always know where to start.

The best way to help others grow in their knowledge of the Lord is to study the Bible with them. As you grow in your faith and your knowledge, you will become better adept at putting the right scripture in front of people at the right time, gently and with love and kindness. This is far more effective at helping others grow spiritually than telling them everything that is wrong with them.

Hebrews 9:27 tells us that we are all going to be judged by God.

It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.”

When we are judged by God, we will all be seeking His mercy. So why would we not treat others the way that we hope to be treated ourselves and show them mercy, not judgement? Doesn’t that go against what is referred to as, “The Golden Rule?”

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” – Mathew 7:12.

To conclude today’s study, let us read and reflect on the words found in Mathew 7:1-5:

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged.For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.Why do you look at 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,’ and behold, the log is 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.


Pat Dermody

Our world would be such a better place if we did not judge one another so harshly. If we could just love a person as he /she is. When we look for what’s best in one another, we are doing what God does all the time. Love is what can connect us during this holy season when many of us will be separated from our families. Take a moment to think of someone you love very deeply. How does it feel... Warm , peaceful, happy. During this holy season we can try to extend this love to someone with whom we are struggling to love. God did.


Jesus really let's the Pharisees have it in Mathew 23:13-29 in what is referred to as the "Eight Woes". We do not want to be like the Pharisees:

Eight Woes

13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 [Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.]

15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.’ 17 You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold? 18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.’ 19 You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering? 20 Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it. 21 And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it. 22 And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?