The confusing begins in Matthew 7:1; Do not judge, or you too will be judged. Many believers don't go any further. And yes, if the thought ended with this verse I would understand this misconception. However it continues to verse five where Jesus says, “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” And that is the key to understanding what Jesus had shared. Jesus is referring to insincere and self-serving judgement. He is not instructing us to never judge; rather He is telling us how to judge rightly.
Matt 7:2 For as you have been judging, so you will be judged, and with your measure will it be measured to you.
John 7:24: Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
We can judge through a merciful and righteous heart. Think about it for a moment. How can we grow if there's no one to enlightened us with our poor choices. Yes the Spirit may be readily available to guide us but only if we work in God's love. Until then judge righteously and listen attentively. Ask yourself one question before you judge another; will it lead to edification through mercy and integrity?
Merciful judging is an act of love.