I have been thinking about a particular passage of scripture lately. I have been thinking about it because the longer I live, the more I realize that the little things I note about others that annoy me are the same things that I do, maybe less or in a different form, but still I do them.
The passage that I am thinking of is Romans 2:1. The New American Standard translation states:
Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
The Message paraphrase states the passage as:
Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors.
Yes, at work, I hear the annoying laugh of the girl in the adjacent department and then realize just how silly my laugh can be at times. Or, I notice the peculiarities of others around me. Then I see that these are the same tendencies that I exhibit.
In fact, for quite some time I have thought that this passage was only speaking of the preceding section of Romans, chapter 1, that details how that even though mankind has a general revelation of God in nature, we have and do suppress that truth and spiral into all sorts of wickedness. Oh my!! You mean that as we see this taking place in our time, we are in fact doing the same things. Yes. Perhaps in less obvious forms, but still the same, we are actively at fault, just as those outside the family of Christ. Not just in the large things. But as time has shown me, the small, insignificant things also. Indeed, in my view, the Word of God is true.
Yet, what is different about us who name the name of Jesus? Do we deserve any less punishment than they? More on this later....