It's bad to judge, but it's also bad not to confront sin
We live in a day and age where confrontation is just as good as judging, but is it really? Has the need to rebuke and correct really drifted far off or have we just been doing it wrong and valuing it less? Jesus commands us not to judge, but does that really mean that we are no longer to confront?
Many liberals and free-thinkers know the verse Matthew 7:1 that tells us, "Judge not, that you be not judged," but have neglected that Jesus also says in Luke 17:3, "Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him."
This isn't a contradiction, but rather a confirmation that confrontation and judging are two different things.
While they both sound alike and manifest in the same means, there are many distinct differences. Here are three ways that proper and godly confrontation differs from all judgmental behaviour.
1. It's done with love and gentleness
Galatians 6:1 tells us, "Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted." People always imagine rebuke being a berating session when it does not necessarily have to be. That's not to say that we have to be sweet talkers either.
When confrontation happens, what Paul admonishes is that our spirits be aligned with the Holy Spirit so that we would speak out of the gentleness of spirit that comes as a fruit of God's presence (Galatians 5:22).
2. It speaks truth, not opinion
What hurts most in confrontation is when there is bias and assumptions. That's why it's important to start every confrontation with questions and clarification.
Ephesians 4:15 says, "Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ."
The heart of the truth is not disappointment or anger, but love. While we may assume that love is instantly understood, it must be reinforced over and over again because it's the foundation upon which we build lasting and godly relationships on.
3. Relationship is the basis
Probably the biggest mistake people make is to think that we can just rebuke and confront anyone, but that's not necessarily true. Note that Jesus says in Luke 17:3, "Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him."
Jesus tells us to rebuke a brother, a friend, a person whom you have a relationship with.
Rebuke out of the context of relationship, such as confronting someone you barely know on social media, will not work. There must be a relationship because God does almost everything through relationships.