“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” (Romans 2:1 NIV)
In my first book Peppermint-Filled Piñatas which was later released as Not Like Me, I was writing about how people who claim to follow Jesus need to love people who look differently, vote differently, believe differently, and see sex differently. I wrote about loving the LGBTQIA+ community as too often Christians seemed to ostracize, target, and judge the gay community over and above everyone else. Too often Christians have been known as judgmental, political, and hypocritical.
When I turned in my manuscript to my editor, she wrote back saying: “Be careful not to be too judgmental of people who are judgmental.”
She was right!
Sadly, soon after we figure out we need God’s help, to make ourselves feel better we like to point out how others need God’s help even more!
Just after the list Paul writes describing the ways we have fallen short in our thoughts and our actions, he writes in Romans 2 about not judging others.
He points out that it was God’s kindness in our lives that led us to turn to him. In other words, when we understood God loves us in spite of our sins, we willingly repented. We asked him for forgiveness.
As followers of Jesus it should be our kindness towards others that leads towards their repentance to God.
One of the biggest challenges in the early church was the ethnic and cultural challenge of creating a new community made up of Jews and Gentiles.
Jewish people believed that Gentiles were unclean. They were not allowed in the Temple. Gentile men were not circumcised which was a rite of passage for every Jewish male.
Paul points out that through Jesus now all need a circumcision of the heart by the Spirit. In other words, knowing the law is not what makes us right with God, it’s obeying the law. We have all fallen short of that, but fortunately as J.I Packer wrote in Knowing God:
“Jesus lived the life we should have lived and died the death we should have died in our place, to reconcile us to God and to give us eternal life.”
When reading this passage what stood out to you?
How do you sense God may want you to apply what you discovered?
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