Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Romans 2:1-11 (NRSV)
Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things. You say, “We know that God’s judgment on those who do such things is in accordance with truth.” Do you imagine, whoever you are, that when you judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself, you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. For he will repay according to each one’s deeds: to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; while for those who are self-seeking and who obey not the truth but wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be anguish and distress for everyone who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.
There is an old saying: “When you point your finger at someone, there are three other fingers pointing back at you.” It is really hard for me not to judge others, and especially difficult when I compare myself to them.
During the early years of this nation, and most recently during the Civil Rights Era, people were judged by the color of their skin. That judgment is ongoing today, and not just with people of color. The big controversies today deal with LGBTQ people and immigrants. According to today’s passage, God does not play favorites. God judges us all equally. When we judge people to be a certain way, are we putting ourselves above God?
It is impossible to know people well if you do not interact with them or become friends with someone who is different from those with whom you normally associate. How can you judge a person if you do not know him or her? And I mean, really know them. Sit down with someone whom you deem less superior than yourself. You might be surprised at how much you have in common!
God of all people, help me not to judge others, and to know that all people are created in your image. Amen.
Go with God.