November 20, 2023
Romans 2:1-11 (The Message)
“Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done.”
Do you ever read the Bible and think, “Well, that bit was written just for me!”?
That happened this morning. As I ponder on this passage I am reminded of that old saying, “When you point the finger that someone, there's three pointing back at you!”
Over the last week I have a multiple conversations with people about this idea of taking the log out of our own eye before trying to remove the speck from our neighbor's eye. It is amazing to me that I continue to have to wrestle with this in my own life. You would think that after kindergarten I'd have figured it out.
Here I am still a judgemental jerk on so many levels.
I experience happiness when “those” people get it. I make excuses my people blow it.
What is it with me and this desire to judge others?
Well, this passage reminds me that it means there are likely issues in my own life that I'm seeking to distract myself and God from. Once again I find myself needing to do ever greater introspection to be sure that I'm seeking to love well.
I think I'm coming to learn that growing in my faith is like becoming stronger in the gym. As you get stronger you have increase the weight that you lift so that you can continue to grow stronger. As I go deeper into my faith I have to go deeper still into seeing the shadows of my own life to bring light to them.
Just because the shadow isn't as long as it used to be doesn't mean it's not there. I am learning that I can notice it most clearly as I judge others. That's the flashing light that says, “Hey bub, you to shine the light over here and deal with this!”
Today I am pondering, “Do I think that I can distract God from my shortfalls by pointing out the falling short of others?”
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