“Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. (Romans 2:1-8 ESV)”
I think Romans is a tough epistle to break down into bite size pieces. In Chapter 2, Paul continues showing the difference between God and His Judgment and Man’s propensity to make it a little bit easier on ourselves. He also unpacks the idea of those who are “special” and those who are not, i.e. judges vs. the judged. What does the Scriptures tell me about myself in Romans 2?
I must remind myself again and again: Look in the mirror and see the man who needs the Salvation of God moment by moment—who needs the Gospel preached every day to. I have not, nor ever will, arrive(d). I read in this passage about how God peels back the veneer of my o’ so righteous life to keep in front of my eyes and mind my tendency to “presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience” of God? I do it all the time and when I don’t do it I am tilted to do it in my heart anyway. It is right not to judge. But, is it right to observe and evaluate? Judge in one sense is having an opinion leading to condemnation. Judgment in another sense is evaluating. Slippery slope to negotiate here. My assumption is that if I am not being fiercly transparent with myself then I have ZERO authorization to point out faults in others—I haven’t even considered the log in my own eye. I am more inclined to rest in mercy concerning myself than to others. That couldn’t be more opposite. So what should I do to train myself in Godliness? To keep my head on straight concerning Doctrine? How do I apply Truth vigorously? Respond humbly to trials? Keep my foot on the straight path?
Father, I have more questions than answers at times. That is why I cry out to You. It really isn’t that I don’t have answers—it is because the answers demand responses from me. Scripture says “Study to show yourself approved before God: A workman not ashamed, accurately dividing the Word of Truth.” Sometimes I think it ought to read “…to get your head on straight, being accurate about what the Scripture says about yourself.” Douglas Hyde wrote: “Sacrificial demands create heroic responses.” Being a hero isn’t knowing more or pointing out faults in others, it is peeling back the veneer of my façade and vigorously applying Biblical truth before pointing out the faults in others. Please—convict my heart, O God and make it so in me. AMEN.