The Bible says not to judge or we will be judged the same way. It also says to use discernment. So, what's the difference? How do we keep from sliding from discernment to judgement?

For example, and just an example for clarity, trying to find a new church, I had to discern some things and weigh them against what I understand to be truth. When I see the Church behaving in ways that don't seem to demonstrate the love of Christ, I find myself feeling like it's hypocricy. So how is discernment different than judgement and how do you keep from slipping from discernment to judgement?

Another example is somebody who tells your child that they don't need to floss every day while they are on their way to get their bridge so they can eat. Now discernment would say that this is probably not the best person to listen to about dental hygein, then you could slip into judgement and say this person is an idiot and you shouldn't listen to anything they say.

asked 31 Mar '12, 10:16

Fairy%20Princess's gravatar image

Fairy Princess

edited 01 Apr '12, 08:56

This is an excellent question!!! Bravo!!!

(31 Mar '12, 14:07) Jaianniah

fairy princess, discernment is the clarity of which something is seen; judgement is usually the valuation by authority on actions undertaken

(01 Apr '12, 07:49) fred
showing 1 of 2 show 1 more comments

To me, discernment is deciding if I want to do something or not or if I want to do something else.

Judgement is me deciding that someone else should or should not do something. That they are wrong if they do something I don't like.

If you don't like some things about your Church prospect, you can either leave and go somewhere else, or look for things there that you do like.


answered 31 Mar '12, 13:16

Dollar%20Bill's gravatar image

Dollar Bill

edited 31 Mar '12, 13:19

Discernment is a spiritual gift of the Holy Spirit, as we really live for God seriously to please God and build his Kingdom on Earth we are blessed with the gift of discernment.

It is a guidance system for us of seeing what is behind what most superficially see. For example what is the pastor of this church like, the discernment may say to you no this pastor doesn't seem right for me or yes this is the pastor for me. We put God first not the pastor and all will be revealed to us.

Now lets say the discernment says, "Yes this pastor is not good, he guides but is lost himself and is leading others the wrong way." Here is where it can turn into judgement, if we turn to the world way. If we let ourselves slip into "Who is he to be a pastor? Look at the life he lives! I am not going there and you shouldn't either!" Those are very evil judging words, discernment did not tell you those things to hurt that pastor! Discernment told you those things to help you find what is best for you and even to pray for that pastor that is already hurting and needs the prayer.

Sadly most Christians, or those seeking, save their harshest condemnations for other Christians. That is not why we have the gift of discernment but to pray for those we see that need it. Those that we see that are only Christians on Sunday but the rest of the week are upset, angered, depressed, drinking, drugging, whatever discernment tells you, pray for them. But never judge them because you are not wearing their shoes.


answered 31 Mar '12, 13:51

Wade%20Casaldi's gravatar image

Wade Casaldi

edited 31 Mar '12, 14:02

@Wade Casaldi - your answer resonates with me.

(31 Mar '12, 19:55) Dollar Bill

Wade gave a good answer about discernment- discernment is actually a gift of the Holy Spirit, and lets us know when we (if we are walking with God) are near something that takes a spiritual sense to see. As Wade pointed out, discernment actually helps us to see where someone is not right in some spiritual way.

Judgment is when we are choosing to form an opinion about someone without actually having "walked a mile in his or her moccasins". This is really an important point about judgment. We must never judge anyone, unless we truly can understand their heart! This is practically impossible.

Discernment is crucial as a Christian, as there are many things we must watch for as we go about our business in the world. We can call it different things: "gut-feeling" or "a sixth sense" but we need the gift of discernment to help us navigate the world.




answered 31 Mar '12, 14:06

Jaianniah's gravatar image


edited 31 Mar '12, 14:09

@Jaianniah "helps us to see where someone is not right in some spiritual way." Is this judgement? Is this judging others? They are not right? I cannot tell even if I could "walk in her moccasins" which no-one can.

I can only discern whether an event gives me pleasure or not. If it does, I approach it, to me that is my Truth, if not, I look for something good in it or walk away.

(31 Mar '12, 19:53) Dollar Bill

I was talking about spiritual discernment, which I guess must be a gift from God...I did not explain myself too well. This type of "looking" is NOT judging- rather, it feels like you are getting a "nudge" from the Holy talk with someone, to tell someone that you know where something hidden may be (which I do)- things like that. I did not mean judging at all. I learned at Bill W.'s knees not to judge anyone! Blessings, Jai

(31 Mar '12, 22:46) Jaianniah

I do have to agree with Traveller partially in his statement Realization is suppressed by knowledge but I think it's important to acknowledge that there is a huge difference between knowledge and Knowing just as there is a huge difference between judging and discernment.

Judging is an automatic response that arises from our little mind that most of us do on a daily basis until we become aware enough and realize that we're doing it and choose to do otherwise. Discernment on the other hand usually comes from our higher self and comes from the realization that not everyone has realized the same state of awareness. The difference between judgement and discernment is that the judge requires everyone to align with what they think is right whereas the one discerning knows that's not necessary but they may have to remove themselves from an unconscious situation.


answered 31 Mar '12, 20:30

Michaela's gravatar image


Discernment - To see things in neutrality

Judgement - To see things in your beliefs

?? That's how I see it.


answered 01 Apr '12, 05:56

DiusPius's gravatar image


Excellent "zen" answer :)

But in my belief :) i "feel" the first part of the answer better like this :

Discernment - To see (observe) things in naturality , as in : natural quality or characteristic or law...that is.

(03 Jun '13, 14:26) holla

So now that you have discerned that this particular church is not teaching love, what does your connection to God within you tell you to do?

It is a dilemma, is it not?

How many people must you meet and get to know before you find a perfect human being that you can truly trust with all your secrets?

The conflicts you experience within you reflect the conflicts within everyone else.

Whatever problems you find in your church, you will easily find in any church and any religion.

If you are in denial of that fact, you will have to keep looking for the perfect church for a long time.

There is no perfection in this world and because of this; the illusion of perfection, which is created in any institution of religion, becomes unbearably uncomfortable to the person who finally has the courage to awaken him or herself to honesty.

Do not let that word "honesty" fool you.

I am not saying honesty in the context of us choosing be become honest people, far from it.

I am saying honesty in the context of having the courage to look at ourselves WITH HONESTY and say, "I am imperfect within myself and I exist within an imperfect world"

When you awaken your "discernment”, going to church, or any other "institution" of spiritual perfection, becomes an excruciating experience. That is because you begin to see through the facade of spirituality.

You will notice that the "inner circle" members tend to smile or grin constantly when interacting with the rest of the congregation.

You discernment will pick up the dis-honesty in that smile. They are smiling to "appear" to be in grace, and you can tell right away that it is an "appearance"

Mother Theresa was genuinely honest in her reasons and no longer needed to hide behind a smile.

Other religious people do it in different ways.

Some people wear robe like clothing depicting closeness to simplicity and spirituality.

Some people speak in whispers, with carefully thought out, and slow sentences.

Some people will say, "I'm criticizing you to help you discover the truth", implying the idea "because I already know the truth".

My advice to you is that if you encounter anyone claiming that they know the "truth" turn around and run in the opposite direction as fast as you can before you make the mistake of believing them.

Everybody's experience within himself or herself is as confusing as your own experience within yourself.

You experience within you is a microcosm of the experience of the universe.

You can say that the "within" is just as unlimited as the physical universe, and that they are both the same "All that is"

It is easy to see that there is nobody in existence who can demonstrate complete mastery over all of physical existence (I am speaking of right now)

We know that because you cannot hide it or fake it.

If someone claims that they can "manifest" a tree in an instant, you can judge this ability through your five senses to see if they are lying.

When it comes to spiritual things, you cannot judge it with your five senses because they can say, "you don't know it because you haven't reached my level of understanding"

It is the perfect environment for deception to thrive.

Therefore, the only thing you can use to quantify this deception is discernment.

However, you need to develop this over time and there is no "right" way to develop discernment.

Discernment is not a spiritual ability.

If you have the ability of discernment, that does not make you a spiritual person.

However, if you choose you could impress others by using your discernment to appear spiritual, but you will only be deceiving yourself over the long run.

Everybody has discernment.

When you read a question here and an answer awakens within you in response to it that is discernment, except you do not identify it with that understanding.

Discernment is "inner response" as opposed to "trained response", typically the result of repeating something to yourself (also known as learning).

When you break free from your trained patterns of thought, you find yourself left with more and more discernment.

If fact you stumble on a mind-blowing and disturbing realization.

You have been trained to override your innate discernment by constantly expressing it within the confines of practiced and repeated (learned) knowledge.

This is exactly what every religious institution is doing to you as well.

It is designed to keep you within what is "given to you" through an approved context.

If you find yourself always quoting from something "great" to authenticate your point of view, realize that you have been well trained by the "system" to stay within it.

You shut that side off and what is left is discernment.

It was always there, but was suppressed with "knowledge"

If you want this entire answer in a nutshell, you can say


Realization is suppressed by knowledge



answered 31 Mar '12, 14:55

The%20Traveller's gravatar image

The Traveller

edited 31 Mar '12, 20:00

Realisation comes with knowledge. what is knowledge it is the truth that you learn about. you need to know the truth. the truth will set you free. if you do not know the truth where do you stand? you stand in lie. and if you stand in lie you do not have discernment.

(31 Mar '12, 17:14) white tiger

White Tiger, Your comments are the perfect response to my answer. You certainly put me in my place, and I guess I deserved it. Thank you for sharing them.

(31 Mar '12, 17:38) The Traveller

you are welcome traveller.

(31 Mar '12, 17:40) white tiger

will also add this the goal is to reach perfection and perfection is truth. even if nothing is perfect yet in this world should not stop you from doing your best. all the passer-by that travel in this world are on that journey.

(31 Mar '12, 17:50) white tiger

Why do you say I judged my church rather than discerned that they are not teaching love?

(31 Mar '12, 17:59) Fairy Princess

Hi Fairy Princess!
I failed to use an explanation of your preference. That’s all it is.
I could have begun the sentence with “So now that you have discerned that they are not teaching love”.
The answer was not about the person asking the question, but about judgement and discernment with regards to spirituality and all the institutions associated with it.
If it matters to you, let me know and I will change that sentence according to your preference.

(31 Mar '12, 19:52) The Traveller

Ok I changed my first sentence from

“So now that you have cast your judgement upon your church what is your discernment telling you to do?”


“So now that you have discerned that this particular church is not teaching love, what does your connection to God within you tell you to do?”

(31 Mar '12, 19:59) The Traveller

Thank you @The Traveller the whole point is to distinguish judging from discerning. So I haven't found a church I like yet, so I am not going to a church. I want to be careful when I do go to a church that I am discerning and not judging.

(31 Mar '12, 22:21) Fairy Princess

@Fairy Princess - What are you looking for in your search for a church home? If I can stay focused on what I want for as little as 17 seconds, it will appear.

If I focus on what I like, it will appear in my experience. If I focus on what I don't like, it too will appear in my experience. I just needed to remind myself about this. Thanks for the nudge!

(01 Apr '12, 09:37) Dollar Bill
showing 2 of 9 show 7 more comments

the true church is you. jesus said it destroy that temple and i will rebuilt it in 3 days. he was not talking about the temple of stones and wood. he was talking of the temple that you as spirit are in for that physical life.

Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."

"We heard him say, 'I will destroy this man-made temple and in three days will build another, not made by man.'"

No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."

is it so hard to take care of the temple? is it so hard to clean it from the darkness?

you discern things in truth and love not in judgment.

judgment is a condemnation. discernment is to see things in truth to make better choice.


answered 31 Mar '12, 14:54

white%20tiger's gravatar image

white tiger

edited 03 Jun '13, 23:41

@white tiger Jesus said, "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father." -- amen.

(31 Mar '12, 19:57) Dollar Bill

of course Dollar Bill that is what i have wrote. and it is true for every one born of the spirit. when you know that you are spirit and that this physical form that you live in is your house and temple in this world. and that you can come and go from the world to the kingdom. what is there to fear? you are a passer-by in this world like every one else.

(31 Mar '12, 22:03) white tiger

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

(31 Mar '12, 22:32) white tiger
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments

"Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." and He raised it up in three days.

alt text


answered 31 Mar '12, 19:57

Dollar%20Bill's gravatar image

Dollar Bill


I love this comic and so fitting for Easter too! :-)

(31 Mar '12, 23:13) Wade Casaldi

discernment be similar
to the ability ability to
see it, while judgement weighs
who or what has most right


answered 03 Jun '13, 21:28

fred's gravatar image


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