Telling Someone They're Sinning Is Not Hypocrisy

Telling Someone They're Sinning Is Not Hypocrisy

It's not shoving opinions anywhere either.


It's been said that we shouldn't judge one another. It has also been said we shouldn't point out the sins of others when we know for a fact that, we too, are prone to sin. This is perpetuated by those that like to quote Jesus' own words:

"Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove that splinter from your eye,' while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:1-5)

Yet, their purpose in quoting this passage is to avoid acknowledging that what they may be doing, could be in fact sinful. In other words, "become ignorant of my sins, so I don't have to feel guilty about them." This leads to the interpretation of "don't judge others, period" whereas this statement is not an outright prohibition of judgment, nor is it a prohibition of addressing the sins of others. Rather it is a statement that addresses hypocrisy in the "holier than thou" sense of the word. True, we are all guilty of sin in one form or another, yet it is equally as important to recognize the sins of others as well as our own.

The Church teaching on this subject is in line with the chief spiritual works of mercy 1,2, and 3 found in The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism:

1) Admonish The Sinner

"It is an act of love to try and make another realize how bad sin is. This can be done by trying to keep them out of sin or an occasion of sin, or by trying to get them to confession afterwards. In cases where we think it might make them worse, we do not correct them directly. We can let them know indirectly, though, especially by our example, that we do not approve of their actions" (Pg. 98)

2) Instruct The Ignorant

It is an act of love to help others in one way or another to learn the truths they need to know to save their souls" (Pg. 98)

3) Counsel The Doubtful

"It is an act of love to help others to be certain about what they should do to love and serve God. For example, answering questions about eating meat on Fridays." (Pg. 98)

If we were not meant to address the sins of others, the teachings of Jesus would have faded in the dustbin of history. The entirety of Christianity is built on the idea of salvation and Jesus is our savior. That is not to say that the sins on our own souls are less deserving of judgment than those sins we see being committed by others. Nor is it to say that we should express pride in whatever virtues we may practice, acting as the Scribes and Pharisees did. However, it was also said by Jesus:

"Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19)
"Jesus said to Thomas: I am the way and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6)

What good is knowing God's truth, if you willfully withhold it from others to spare their emotions? Jesus gave us the truth in order to profess it to others for the salvation of souls, not to judge or condemn people. Passing judgment is up to God, but it is our duty to our neighbor, that we point them in the direction that leads to him. They may not want to hear it, but to ignore what is, or may be going on, is also a sin

Therefore, whoever knows the right thing to do, yet fails to do it, is guilty of sin. (James 4:17)

By pointing out sin and helping others to avoid the near occasion of sin, we are speaking God's truth and by that truth, we assist them in their journey down the straight and narrow path that leads to heaven. Not because we are more righteous, or more deserving of heaven than they are, but because we love them as children of God and we desire to see them in heaven. Even if we ourselves are unworthy (and we are all unworthy). And wanting salvation for others and guiding them on the right path that leads to God/Heaven, is one of the greatest expressions of love and charity that one can possibly give.

Popular Right Now

When God Says, “Not Right Now.”

“God give me faith to wait and not manipulate. To trust You fully, no matter how my circumstances may appear." — Lynn Cowell


One of the most frustrating yet beautiful things is when God tells us “no" or “not right now."

At the time, you may have agony or desperation for this one thing to work out in your life, but it slips away from you. You may ask God why. Why does He want you to be unhappy? Why does He want to take away your dreams?

At the time, you cannot see how much God truly is working in your life, but He is. In my life, every time that I was disappointed that a plan or dream didn't work out, I was devastated. I didn't want to be in a position where I was challenged and tested. I wanted all the blessings to flow and to fulfill what I thought was my plan in life. But that's exactly what it was: my plan.

I did not see at the time that that is not what God intended for me and that He actually had far greater plans than I did for myself. He needed to mold me into who I am supposed to be today. Along the way I have met the most amazing people that have had a huge impact on my life, have gone through the most amazing experiences with God, and I wouldn't trade going through all the trials because it has truly made me into the woman I am today.

“What God does in us while we wait is as important as what we are waiting for." – John Ortberg

God is continually, endlessly, working in our lives.

We may not see it, but He is. We may blame God for all the things that are going wrong in our lives, but we never see that in the end, we were supposed to go through the low valleys to get to the high, amazing, and beautiful mountains in our lives.

I truly believe that it's when you're at the bottom of the darkest pit in your life that you can actually see the light of God shining brightly upon you. During these times, pray to Him to lead you to understanding that this is all a part of His plan for you.

It hurts God to see that His child is suffering, but in order to carve out just the person that you are supposed to be, you must go through challenges. Where you are today is no accident. God is using the challenge you are in to shape you and prepare you for the place He wants you tomorrow. When it comes to God's plan, timing is absolutely everything.

Looking back on all the events that I had to endure before getting to where I am now, I know that I had to go through the trials in order to be just who I am today, which is happier than I have ever been because I know God and His plan for me. Waiting is the most difficult job of hope, but you must remain faithful and know that God is guiding you.

“When I wait, you strengthen my heart." Psalm 27:14

When you are waiting for God's righteous plan, don't lose faith in His goodness. He only wants the best for you, and in the end, you will look back and see just how much He truly was working in your life. Be patient and the blessings will flow.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

How To Trust When You Feel Reluctant

How my sweet niece taught me the ropes of trust.


What does it exactly mean to "trust"? I'm not too sure. I think that trust has so many different levels, and manifests differently given the scenario. The general definition is something like this.

The firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength in something or someone.

Which makes sense, but how trust materializes can be a really interesting, malleable thing. Yesterday, I was sitting on my couch staring out the window, all curled up in a blanket. I heard a little knock at the door, my niece and her Mimi poked their heads in. Little girl had just woken up from her nap, and Mimi was seeing if I might want to get some snuggles.

Oh, I just couldn't help but love her even more with those sleepy, little, quiet eyes and slow movements. Mimi placed her in my arms, but when she did, I could see some tension move into that little one's shoulders. She was a little more rigid. Still sitting with me, but stiff, not quite sure if I was safe. Then, she looked up at me and studied my face for a few small moments. She gave me her sweet smile and then she snuggled her shoulders and leaned in. There it was, trust in the sweetest of ways.

We were both just tucked in for 10 minutes or so, exchanging peeking smiles, and looking at each other's hands and fingers. All the while, my little niece was reminding me of myself.

Just 15 minutes before she came in, I was feeling that same stiffness in my shoulders, the tension of the day and my agenda. A rigid discomfort, and unsureness of where I was. I felt questions rising up in me. I was sitting in what I knew was right at the moment, but stiffly. Just like my little niece, still sitting and accepting the situation, but not eagerly.

It's a bummer, but I think I actually do this pretty often. I will accept the current that I'm swimming in and agree, yes, I'm in the right lane, but I'm not exactly embracing it. In this world, flavors change and we are called to adapt. That adaptation doesn't always come within a flicker or a blink. We might do so a little reluctantly, hesitantly, and cautiously. My niece taught me something so dear and so beloved yesterday. She taught me the exact answer of what to do when that stiffness starts to crumble your trust.

She reminded herself who was holding her. She studied my face and recalled where she had seen it before. And then she determined me safe.

Bring on the snuggles.

I found myself taking my nieces advice, and practicing this same remembrance. I needed to behold the face of my Father and study it, seek it. I had to remind myself of whose I am and where I am, how carefully I am held, how beloved I am, and how His Truth is the only certainty that I need.

"You have said, 'Seek My face.' My heart says to you, 'Your face, Lord, do I seek.'" (Psalm 27:8)

We must remind ourselves of those moments we came to know Him better, a wrinkle of His face, or a tender commonality that we've seen in His kindness. Take note of each encounter, and hold the things you learn as treasure with full trust and assurance. Allow yourself to really weigh into Him. Give every piece of yourself, because in His truth are the delights of trust, of reassurance, of quietness, and peace.

My little niece reminded me that far greater than anything can we behold on earth, is beholding Jesus' face.

Related Content

Facebook Comments