Our church is reading a Bible plan together. (bible.today.church) This week Romans 1 was part of it. In the last half of the chapter, it’s like a bad list. Paul lists all kinds of sinful, wicked people. It sounds like it could have been inspired by today’s headlines. I’ve read that many times before, but this jumped out at me. He writes that God was against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth. One of the saddest things he wrote was that because of rebellion, God abandoned them…
I read the chapter again and noticed something. Paul wasn’t angry at these people. He didn’t wish punishment on them. He did list and describe what was evil, but the whole context was this is who has rebelled against God. Paul had a great opportunity to condemn them – to say he wasn’t like that. Why didn’t he?
Today’s reading was chapter 2 as Paul continued that context. The first verse knocked me out of my self-righteous “I’m not like those people” seat…
Romans 2:1 (NLT)
You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things.
That isn’t a list of people for us to condemn. It’s a list of things we are not to be like. Because when we condemn and judge others, that list includes us.
“…for you who judge others do these very same things.”
Sounds a whole lot like what Jesus said in Matthew 7.
Matthew 7:1-2 (NET)
1 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.
2 For by the standard you judge you will be judged, and the measure you use will be the measure you receive.
The same measure of judgement we dish out, we receive.