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. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realising that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God ‘will repay each person according to what they have done.’ To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honour and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honour and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favouritism.
Romans 2: 1-11
Aren’t we good at “us and them”? Others lie; we stretch the truth a little or even fib. It’s not the same thing. Other people blatantly steal from work; we might just bring a reel of sticky tape or a biro home because nobody will miss them, or they’re just perks of the job. We don’t do the wicked things other people do- we’re Christians.
We’re always sure that we are a sheep, not a goat yet it may not look like that to God. Are we sure that the things we condemn others for are not the same things as the things we do? As soon as we put ourselves above others in moral terms, we are on shaky ground. God gives us lots of chances, but he shows no partiality. Just because we go to church and look good, it means very little. Some sermons are really inconvenient sometimes, just like Paul’s letters!
Oh Lord, we are really good at hypocrisy.
Cleanse our hearts and minds
so that we see ourselves clearly through the mirror of Your truth.
Let our reflections be worthy of the source of our light and example,
Chris Eddowes is an Elder, lay preacher and coordinator of the Training for Life and Service programme in the Northern Synod
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