The Secret Deception of Judging Your Neighbor

Deception. When we read that word, we think of how wicked it sounds. No one wants to be deceived. It is a horrible feeling to realize that you have been deceived. Yet, there is a deception that is far to easy for us to do to ourselves. It is the deception that comes when we judge others.

Paul says in Romans,

1 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things… 4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?”

(Romans 2:1, 4​)

At the beginning of Romans 2 Paul warns those who feel comfortable standing in judgment over others that there is a spiritual consequence to such comfort. He declares that when we are comfortable judging others that we are forgetting something essential to our relationship with God. We are forgetting God’s kindness.

When was the last time that we thought about how we are drawn to God? When was the last time we considered God’s wooing of us? God did not just declare our guilt.  He did not just declare the coming judgment.  God also declared and demonstrated His great and awesome love for us.  He established that we were the apple of His eye.  He communicated that He loved us so much that He would give His life for us in Jesus. Such love.  Such sacrifice. Paul declares that it is this kindness of God that has led us to seek a relationship with Him through Jesus.

What does judging our neighbor have to do with God’s gift to us?  Look again at verse 4. Have you considered what we are saying about God’s kindness to us when we are comfortable judging our neighbor? It says that somehow we deserved it.  Or, it says that His kindness wasn’t that big of a deal. The ability to comfortably judge others declares that we didn’t really need God’s kindness that much. Judging others demonstrates a diminished appreciation of God’s kindness toward us.  We are declaring our sin to be less than it is.  Judging others declares that we do not understand the enormity of our sin or of God’s kindness to us.

What should we do?  Go back to our beginning with Jesus.  Think again about why we said yes to His gift of forgiveness.  Think deeply on what His gift has meant to us.  Think upon it deeply enough that any comparisons with or judgments of others become an affront to us.  Then, do it again.

Something to think about,

Pastor John

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