Have you noticed how much easier it is to condemn others for their actions than to condemn ourselves, and our own actions? Too often, we become critics of everyone around us – judging the way they live their lives, the words they say, the things they do – critics of everyone except ourselves. For this particular sin, a trap we all probably fall into from time to time, Romans 2 really hits hard. Paul over-emphasizes repeatedly that wrong is always wrong, and sin is always sin, no matter who does it, no matter your intentions or your justification. Yes, our God is a loving God, forgiving and merciful forever and always. But our God is also a just God, and He will judge each and every person accordingly. As Romans 2:3-4 expresses, just because we serve a God who is kind, patient and forgiving does NOT mean that you can get away with any evil deed, continuing to live in unrighteousness relying only on the idea that all will be forgiven.
“Do you suppose, O man – you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself – that you will escape the judgement 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?” Romans 2:3-4
God’s abounding love and kindness is not a means to live however we desire, it’s a call to repentance, because He so wants us to live with Him in eternity, and if we truly want it as well, we would not continue living in sin, but repent and grow and strive to reach the very highest of our potential. We would strive to be just the tiniest bit worthy of His love and mercy. Because in all God’s perfection and all our imperfection, we are utterly incompatible. And yet He still loves us and desires a relationship with us, a relationship that lasts for all eternity.
As we continue throughout this week, whenever we catch ourselves judging the actions of others, let us remember to instead look within ourselves. I pray that we may see through God’s eyes how we can improve and grow closer to who God made us to be, and ask forgiveness for our own sins, rather than judging the people around us for theirs. Let us obey the truth today for the sake of eternity, and not obey unrighteousness for the sake of today. “For those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury… but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good” (Romans 2:9-10).
- If God has instilled in us a conscience, allowing us to discern right from wrong, (which according to Romans 2:15, He has) then why do we persistently live in sin?
- How should we move forward after acting in an unrighteousness, ungodly manner, in order to continue seeking everlasting life with God- living for Him and not for ourselves?