When To Rebuke; And When To Judge


All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

At some point in time, we lose track of where we are heading. We become indecisive. We feel lost. Uncertain. Disappointed. Defeated. We start to look for validation in this judgmental society. We start to worry and doubt. The beautiful picture of our future are now just a dream. Until such a time, we are unable to see our worth. We no longer able to distinguish ourselves as Christ ambassadors. We lose our identity in Christ.

This is the problem when we only focus with ourselves – self image; self interest; self glorification; self entitlement etc. When we only focus on what the world can serve us at our table. When we don’t know who we are in Christ. When our judgment misguides our faith. When our pride is hindering us from repentance. When our ego is being trampled upon because of humility or any God-given mission.

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This is also the problem when other Christians corects us. We find it so  offensive that we label them as ‘JUDGMENT’, instead of rebuking. Why? Because of our pride. Brethren, no one can correct you unless you humble yourself. To be able to do that, we must know how we clearly see Jesus in our life. We must accept that we are sinners; that we need Christ or His ambassador to lead us to Him. God uses His word, sometimes circumstances, if not people to correct us. He uses our fellow brethren to rebuke us, because we aren’t perfect. We fall and commit mistakes, just like the imperfect world. Many believers had whitewashed, if not interchanged the definition between when is it considered rebuke from when is it considered as judging.



Rebuke is synonymous to correction. Generally this is the meaning of rebuke in the dictionary:
REBUKEto express sharp, stern disapproval of; reprove; reprimand; harsh criticism

Many biblical passages has emphasized how a believer rebukes his fellow believers.

Verses to Ponder:

 Psalm 141: 5. Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness; let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it, for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers.
Proverbs 9: 8. Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you.
Proverbs 27: 5. Better is open rebuke than hidden love.

Rebukes are forms of criticisms to biblically CORRECT someone or something by means of reprimand in a good biblical manner without malice and prejudice. It doesn’t have any hidden intentions nor tolerates a wrong doing, but rebuke aims to discipline a brother. Now, the guidelines of rebuking a brother should be based in the biblical doctrines that Jesus himself, and all the disciples taught in the bible.

2 Timothy 3:16. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

Whereas, judging is more of a legal biblical matter that comes with consequences. First, let us know the general definition of judging:

JUDGEpass legal judgment on; pass sentence (on a person); to form a judgment or opinion of; decide upon critically; conclude about or assess; estimate

In the bible, judging is somewhat a task done ONLY by a higher ranking officials, if not the source, our Creator which is God. A penalty comes after a judgment. Unfortunately, believers and non-believers are twisting it based on what they deemed favorable to them. Nowadays, judging is a conclusion without trial. Judging is imposing someone’s opinion without biblical facts. That is the greatest differentiation between the two.

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Verses to Ponder:

Leviticus 19: 15. "'Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.
Deuteronomy 19: 18. The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against a fellow Israelite
Psalm 98: 9. let them sing before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.
Matthew 7: 1-2. "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

The verses in Matthew are becoming the standard logical verses of both believers and non-believers just to prove that it is right to judge. When in fact, it was misinterpreted and twisted just to justify themselves to those who opposes their ideals. Having said that, it biblically emphasizes that you cannot judge a believer based in a non-believer standard, and so is judging a non-believer based in a believer standard. It means, when you want to judge a believer, it should be according in the bible, thus, you shouldn’t judge a non-believer because you don’t share the same faith and standard.

In reality, even believer fails to understand it. Many preachers of different religions are using the word of God to judge a person, a government or an entire nation. Israelites were judged according to the Laws of Moses which includes the Ten Commandments. Israelites are God’s chosen people. But because of Jesus through the teachings of Paul that is why even Gentiles like us can now come to God.

when to rebuke or judge

Before you open your mouth, please examine yourself, especially your motives.


Before you open your mouth, please examine yourself, especially your motives. There are far too many wars and personal battles that every people are encountering each day. And your words once you uttered it, could make it worst. If it doesn’t encourage or edify a person or the church, do not say it. If you really cared, then go to the room and tell that only to the person involved. Or tell it directly to the head pastor and the ministers. Before you say a word, pray so that the person will be wise to accept the rebuke, and that it would not turn into judgment.

Remember, we are created after God’s own image. So, to be able to clearly see ourselves, our intentions, what to speak. To be able to know who we are, our purpose, our future — first thing is we need to know our relationship with God. And then, if you accepted Him as your Lord and Saviour over your life; repented from all of your sins; worked in His ministry; do His will and share the gospel, you will clearly not just correctly see yourself that shares the same identity with Christ. But God will give you wisdom to be wise in all things and actions. You are already a citizen of heaven — our eternal destination. God bless you!

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