Today we continue to look at Romans, this time chapter 2. Read Romans 2 and then take a look at my thoughts.
Ahh, this old chestnut. This is one of my pet topics, as I believe that most people get this horribly wrong. I see so many comments like ‘you cant judge me because you have a log in your eye’ or ‘walk a mile in my shoes before you judge me’ or similar. The problem is that we don’t understand what it means to judge. People quote this passage when people tell them that what they’re doing is wrong. That is not exactly what this passage is saying, let’s take a look.
Take a look at the second half of this chapter, it is clearer as to what this is talking about. It is talking about us not judging others if we are just as bad (or worse). It is NOT talking about correcting one another, it is NOT talking about accountability, and it is NOT talking about calling sin a sin. We are told to do that. Let me make it clear, I have decided to accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, which makes me a child of God. If you have done the same, we need to be constantly striving to live our lives according to the will of God. If we need correction, or encouragement, we both have the right (and obligation) to provide it for the other one. Those of us that are mature believers, choose to discipline ourselves, in order to renew our minds and get our actions in line with the will of God. Why else do you fast if not to show your body that your spirit is in charge? Yet if someone else comes and tries to ‘correct’ you (in love), you throw Romans 2 in their face and tell them not to judge you. Yes, sometimes people get it wrong, and actually do judge you, when they are even worse. I’m not talking about times like these. I’m talking about the times when people actually do want to help you grow. You see people often throw the ‘do not judge’ card around, because they don’t want change their sinful behaviour. Let me use an example that occurred in my own life. I used to be rather overweight. I am still technically overweight (if you go by the strict BMI calculation), but I have lost 20kg from where I was. If someone told me that I was overweight, I would tell them not to judge me. The fact is that I was. I didn’t want to deal with it, so I blamed the others for judging, this made them the ones that needed to change and not me. This meant that I could keep living a life that was detrimental to my health, when others wanted what was best for me. This is what happens so much now days. Needless to say, I eventually saw the light, and changed my lifestyle for a much healthier one. If we are truly mature believers, this needs to be our first choice reaction.
Here are two scenarios, based on the ‘overweight analogy’. First one, I realise that being overweight is bad for me, I lose the weight. I can then go and tell others that are overweight, how bad it is for them, and that they too can lose the weight and be healthy. The second scenario is that I stay 30kg overweight, and pass judgement on those who are 50kg overweight, in order to make myself feel better about the fact that I am only 30kg overweight. This passage in Romans is warning us of the second scenario, NOT the first. Here is the interesting part, even if I do opt for the second scenario (which the Bible tells us not to), it still doesn’t change the fact that being overweight is bad for you. If you are truly a mature Christian, and you truly want to walk in God’s will, you’ll realise this. Even if someone is judgemental, you can still learn from it. God works ALL things for our good, even when someone else means it for our harm. Something to think about.
Let’s take a look at the verse about the log in your eye. Matthew 7:5. You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. You see, it doesn’t tell you not to take the speck out of your brother’s eye, it tells you to take the log out of your eye, SO THAT YOU CAN take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Here it is spelled out as simply as possible. Remove sin from your life so that you can help others remove it from theirs. Simple. If someone tells me that I am doing something wrong, I will take it on board. I want to be the best that I can be, so I will listen if anyone tells me that I am doing something wrong. If they are wrong I don’t need to follow their advice, but if they are right, I need to do something about it. I also want what is best for others, so I will continue to try and help them remove sin from their lives. The thing is that I can’t force others to change, so if you throw the ‘do not judge’ argument at me, that is your loss.
I hope that this has been beneficial and has given you food for thought. I know that I may have been a bit passionate in this post, but I see this as a major issue in our society today. Never be above correction from another believer, but when you correct, do it in love.
If you’d like to read more about this, take a look at Judgement Day of Golf.