Romans 2 Preaches The Message Our World Needs To Hear, Because We're All Just People
I've been reading through the book of Romans because, frankly, it hits home every time I open its pages. When I arrived at chapter two, I was blown away. This wasn't the first time that this passage had made me think a little harder than I was intending for 9 PM on a Tuesday, but it did nevertheless.
The passage focuses largely on the judgment that is passed from one human being to another. From one sinner to another.
If you're familiar with how the Lord views sinners judging other sinners, you can begin to expect what is to come. The very first verse of this chapter says: "Therefore you have no excuse. O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things."
We are all guilty of glancing at our neighbor and thinking "geez, look how they just screwed up." Don't lie to yourself, you've had those thoughts. The fact of the matter is, most of us, in the good ole year of 2018, have put ourselves on a pedestal of sorts. We're taught, strictly based on what we read on the world wide web (what up, FBI agent in my computer), that we're the bee's knees. We're taught that we can do whatever the heck we want and be praised for it, because, we deserve it.
We are not taught to be humble, accepting of criticism, and obedient.
I'm not here to rant to you about social cues and stigmas and those youngins over yonder (because, believe it or not, I actually really like some aspects of the year we live in), but I do hope to bring myself down to the ground where I belong -- if you want to join in, that's cool. We aren't God. Yet here we go about trying to play His part with our judgy attitudes.
WHOA and that's just the first verse.
The rest of this section continues to hammer home the point of kindness > judgment.
Let's think about that a little while.
Can you imagine what our world would look like if every person inhabiting our beautiful planet chose kindness every time they were tempted to judge? If instead of condemning another human being we all decided to show them grace and be nice to them?
It's such a simple concept, but oh my goodness, what a difference it would make. Our political scene could certainly benefit from this change, can I get an amen? I'm sure your personal life would also see a drastic development.
We're all pretty messy beings. With the discussions being had about mental health, I think we're beginning to recognize our common characteristic of imperfection. It's about time. Our world is made up of flawed people, each needing a door held open, a hug, an encouraging word, or simply a second chance. This isn't to say that we need to be a pushover (I live in New York City, trust me when I say I understand the necessity of standing up for yourself).
Yet couldn't we do our part and give one another what we'd love to receive -- grace?
The second half of Romans 2 zooms in on how believers need to fulfill what they say. Did your parents, grandparents, or incredibly wise Sunday school teachers ever throw around the phrase, "practice what you preach?" This is where you find the nitty-gritty of that concept. I love this portion of the passage because it's a solid reality check for us. Do you practice what you preach? And for that matter, is what you're preaching sound truth? Would a "well done good and faithful servant" be the response your words and actions receive? Something to ponder.
I'll leave you with verse 15: "They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness."
This verse resonates with me in reflection, and I hope it does the same for you. We're in a never-ending process of spiritual growth, and strangers on the street should be able to see the physical (actionable) side-effects of this growth in your life. In my life. In the lives of believers who are all just trying to show grace to their fellow sinner.
I am grateful for the concept of grace. I am aware that while I constantly deserve grace to be shown to me, I am flawed in how I do not always show grace in return. Most importantly, I am grateful for the Creator of grace, and the perfect example that is shown to believers.