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. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 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? 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?
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. God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”(Psalm 62:12, Proverbs 24:12) To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.
I’ve been thinking the past couple of days after reading this, and the one thing that pops out is, “am I living up to what I’m preaching?” I mean seriously, one of the last things I ever want to be is a hypocrite, for not only do I not want to lead anybody astray, but it would also destroy the credit of my ministry. Have you ever heard the term, “Practice What You Preach”? The heavy metal band Testament entitled one of their classic songs as such, and it makes a very good point.
Another issue going on here is that people are judging others, yet not even living up to the standards of their own judgments against them. It’s like they’re saying “do as I say, not as I do.” They’re condemning others and thinking it’s OK to do it themselves. But that’s not how it works. So they’re condemning themselves when they’re condemning others, because just as God will condemn them for doing such things, those who are judging them will also be condemned for doing such.
Jesus once said that whoever causes one of these little ones to sin, it’s better that they have a limestone tied around their necks and thrown into the sea. And how do children learn right from wrong? From watching others and imitating their actions.
So for me, this first half of the chapter has been a time for me to reflect and examine myself. Am I practicing what I’m preaching, or is there a place in my life, ministry, and/or behaviors that I need to repent about and ask for correcting? So far so good, but I think it’s something we all, as Christians, should do often for the reasons I mentioned above.
Praise the Lord for His kind patience with me! (v. 4)