2 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. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 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? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? 5 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. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.
I hate the thought of being a judgemental person. In fact, I reckon most of us would recoil at the thought of being called judgemental! Unfortunately, I know that judgement of others can sometimes seem immediate, natural and even innate. As humans we are always trying to understand others, yet so often we look only at appearances, or we assume we know the whole story when actually we have caught just a glimpse of what is really going on in someone’s world.
This passage takes it even a step further – Paul writes that if we assume we are better than others just because we do not struggle in the same areas as them, we are actually no better at all, because we have put ourselves in the position of judge. In actual fact, we are all sinners who make poor decisions, who do the wrong thing even when we know not to. This does not mean that we condone the wrong actions of others, but rather that we are to leave the judgement in the hands of God, who sees the whole picture.
I am so glad that God does not shame us or belittle us, even when we are prideful and judgemental. Rather, as verse 4 tells us, He is wonderfully kind and patient with us. May we follow his example and treat others with kindness and respect, rather than jumping in straight away with our own judgements.
God we thank you that you are so kind to us, and that even though you know everything that we ever say and do – the good and the bad – it is your desire to lead us to repentance so that we can be made right with you. Help us to see others as you do, that we may approach people with humility and grace, as you have showed grace to us. Amen.
Written by Ps. Madalaine Tarasenko