– Romans 2:3-4
There is a factor in passing judgment upon another person that most people don’t consider. In many cases it is not about what a person has done, or why they did it at all. It is often about our attitude concerning that person. We not only want to point out what someone has done wrong, but we also want to label them with their sin: They are an adulterer, a thief, a liar, or whatever they have done.
Judging another is not just recognizing that they have sinned, but judging another is mostly about placing a value on the person and condemning them for what they are rather than convicting them for what they have done. That is what distinguishes us from the Lord on this issue.
The purpose of God is to bring people to repentance when they have sinned. That’s why when we would call down fire from heaven God covers them with kindness. When we would send them to the gallows he showers them with patience and tolerance. But what’s all this talk about them; what about ourselves?
“You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change” (Romans 2:3-4 in The Message).
When we take our eyes off of the deeds of others and focus on the stuff that is in our own heart then it becomes easier to look at others with kindness. When we can see that it is the kindness of God that has tolerated us and has patiently drawn us to repentance then judging others loses its importance to us.
Prayer: Lord, grant me the grace to show the same kindness to others that you have shown to me. In Jesus name, amen.
Principle: Judging another is mostly about placing a value on the person and condemning them for what they are rather than convicting them for what they have done.
Affirmation: I can realize a person's sin and help him with restoration without placing a judgment, or label, upon him.
Reflection: Read again The Message rendering of this passage. Think about your own attitude about others who have sinned. Has your attitude expressed the same kindness and grace toward them as you expect yourself?
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