Romans 2:5 (MSG) “You are not getting by with anything. Every refusal and avoidance of God adds fuel to the fire.”
YIKES! The Message really paraphrases Paul’s words to the Romans so well doesn’t he?
“You are not getting by with anything.”
A day is coming when we will all have to stand before God and answer tough questions about the things we’ve done in our lives. Yep, whether we want to think about it or not…God will judge our actions. So why is it that we decide we have to be the judge for everyone else’s life but not our own? You know what I mean right? We feel ourselves becoming justifiably angry because of someone else’s sin and begin to judge or speak out against them and their sin.
As Christians, we are encouraged to speak out against sin and to hold others accountable when what they are doing doesn’t line up with the truth of God’s word…but we have to be VERY CAREFUL. Our words should be spoken with a spirit of love and humility in a private setting, not with a spirit of judgment or condemnation in a public forum. It’s not up to us to point a finger. [Sidebar: After all when we point our finger at someone we always have 3 pointing back at our self.] All too often the sin we are quick to point out in someone else’s life is the one that has taken root in ours. For example, a person who gossips may be very critical of those who gossip.
Again, I have to go to the Message paraphrase to see what God’s word has to say about judging others.
Matthew 7:1-5 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.”
Whoa… did you catch that? “It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own.”
For me, I think the easiest thing to do is look inward. Instead of judging others for the sin in their life, I have to look at myself and take a good hard look – is whay I am doing aligning with the Bible. I have to allow God to be God. He is the judge and it is only He that can change anyone. It is up to me to change me.
Sometimes I think this is easier said than done… don’t you? It’s so difficult to evaluate ourselves for what areas of our life are not lining up with God’s word. Even more difficult is when God reveals something in our life that has to change. I don’t know about you but change – real life change – is tough. As Christians we must continually pray and ask God to turn his searchlight on us and tell us where we need to change. When we allow him to do this, He molds us into the image of Jesus, and gives us the abundant life we can only dare to dream about or imagine.