Romans 2:1–3 ‘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.’ (v1)
Finding fault in others is easy. Our instinct is to point the finger. Why do we run from personal responsibility? Authority makes it easy to blame another, and we want to avoid experiencing vulnerability.
Issues of personal self-esteem must be faced if we consistently refuse to accept the blame when things go wrong; it’s a lack of resilience in owning outcomes. From work to the home we find ourselves incensed at the attitude and behaviour of others. Interestingly, Jesus quietly took the blame on behalf of others, whilst He Himself was faultless.
Paul invites us to redirect our focus. Every time I blame someone else, I announce my own powerlessness. I’m admitting I have no ability to change things. Yet, spiritual formation is the invitation to discover that we have the capacity to choose to grow as close to God as we want. The route I take won’t look exactly the same as someone else’s, but I’m not asked to judge or criticise what they are doing.
Focused on their apparent misdemeanours, I take my eyes off where God is leading me. It’s then all too easy to be distracted away from my own sins, which will be the same as theirs, albeit expressed differently. It’s why Jesus identified lustful looks as no less sinful and damaging than the act of adultery itself (Matt. 5:28). He indicates that we cannot choose to live by moral luck, the belief that we only hold someone responsible if the action is seen to cause actual harm to others. God says intent always counts.
SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Psa. 116; Lev. 19:11–19; John 8:1–11; Gal. 6:1–10.
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, help me to keep focussed on You and avoid making assumptions and judgments about others. Amen.’
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