Scripture Memory Meditation | Romans 2:1

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“Therefore, every one of you who judges is without excuse. For when you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things.
Romans 2:1 (CSB)

In Romans chapter 1, Paul highlighted the sinful nature of man with descriptions that, in Jewish literature, commonly described non-Jewish people. Any Jewish listener might have been nodding his head in total agreement with Paul’s words. From his perspective, it would’ve been easy to see how the non-Jews were sinful and deserving of God’s judgment. While many of us today don’t closely identify with how a Jew (or a non-Jewish proselyte) would’ve been feeling while listening to Paul’s letter, we can identify with a different aspect of these ancient listeners – self-righteousness. It is this sense of self-righteousness that Paul was working to expose. In Romans 2:1 Paul turned the tables on his listeners, showing that the sins that we so easily observe and identify in others can be a blind spot in our own lives.

We can readily look at others and assume that just because we do or don’t do [fill in the blank here with what others don’t do or do] or are not guilty of the “biggest” sins, that our standing before Christ is secure. What we need to realize is that recognizing sins in others will not allow us to escape God’s judgment. The thoughts and intents of our hearts are not hidden from God.  A person who lives to point out, or even revel in the failures of others condemns only himself. There is no joy in self-righteous judgment of others, only misery!

Jesus taught about ways to be blessed, or happy. And they involve looking inward, seeing our need for a Savior due to our sin, and genuinely mourning over our sin. Matthew 5:3-4 says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” The first beatitude teaches that people who see their spiritual depravity will be blessed. There is no room for the haughty and proud in God’s Kingdom. It is when we acknowledge our desperate need for a Savior that we receive the spiritual blessing accompanying a “poor spirit.” The second beatitude states that those who mourn over their sin will be comforted.  Rather than attempt to justify our behavior or rationalize our sin, we need to see it and grieve over what it really is – a transgression of God’s law that separates us from Him. We mourn over who we are, and Jesus offers comfort. We are promised that if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive them!

May our prayers reflect Psalm 139. Lord, we know that you see our true selves. None of our actions, thoughts, or motives are hidden from you. You shine light into the darkest of hearts. You search us and know us. Reveal to us any offenses that we have committed against you. Lead us in your way, the way that leads to life everlasting!

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