I hear a lot of people saying “You shouldn’t judge”. That is absolutely malarkey. You should judge. And you do. Every day.
For example, let’s say you see a man shoot another man. Are you really going to stand there and say “You shouldn’t judge”? Of course not. You would make a judgment. What you are judging are the actions, not the person.
But why even bother to judge at all? People judge to affirm or fine-tune their moral foundations. To help them determine the course of action they want to take in their own lives. In my example, you know it’s wrong to take a life. You know self-defense is an acceptable reason. Finding out the particulars–that there had been threats made, that shots had previously been fired, for example–helps you reaffirm that yes, it’s regrettable, but in this set of circumstances, taking a life is acceptable. You ask yourself if you could take a life under those circumstances. You are judging circumstances, you are judging actions.
And that’s ok.
What we should not do is try to judge what’s in someone’s heart. Or how God will judge them. Because you can never know.
So go ahead, judge. Just know what you’re judging.