Careful How You Judge!
Ask God now to soften your heart toward your fellow human beings and open your eyes toward your own sin.
Read ROMANS 2:1-16
 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, 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 man, 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, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward 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 give to each person according to what he has done.”  To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor 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, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.  For God does not show favoritism.  All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.  For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.  (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law,  since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)  This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy is it so dangerous to judge others?
It’s too easy for me to read yesterday’s passage and feel that it concerns bad people, whereas I’m a nice Christian girl. Paul realized there would be those in the church in Rome with such thoughts and he gives them a stern warning. Rebellion toward God can be expressed in arrogant religious piety as much as in immorality.
We saw yesterday that putting ourselves in the place of God causes a distinct downward and destructive trend in our behavior. Today’s passage shows that when we replace God as judge over others we are also guilty of usurping God’s rightful place (1). Too often we may apply high moral standards to others but fail to live by them ourselves. This is hypocrisy. Paul takes great care to set out his case that sin is universal. All will face judgment. God is able to judge righteously because his judgment is based on truth (2). Judgment is safe in his hands.
It is our works that will be judged. Here Paul is teaching the same as James: faith in Christ will save us, but evidence of that faith is seen in works of love in our lives (7-11).
Ask God to show you instances where you may be in danger of judging others. If you’ve done it, confess it.
Lord, help me not to judge others and be a hypocrite, but to live Your law of love in my life consistently.
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