Romans 2:1. Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgement on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things.
Judging others. It is such an easy thing to do. The driver who just sped past me - how unsafe, rude, and thoughtless; I hope you get a ticket. The mom struggling with the screaming toddler in the drugstore - take that kid home and put her down for a nap already. My son who still has not unloaded the dishwasher even though I’ve told him to do it three times - how can my kid be so lazy and disrespectful? The family two doors down who don’t believe in God, don’t go to church – don’t you know y’all could be going to hell?!
Whoa! Time out!
The world is full of annoyances, conflicts, and all kinds of people and things that challenge me every day. Slipping into judgment is too easy. Whatever happened to empathy? Remember my crazy fast drive to get to a sick child? Remember when my child was the screamer, but it was the only time I had to pick up the prescription? The times I ignored my parents, avoiding my chores because I just needed a little more down time from the stress of high school finals? The times I didn’t think I believed in God and didn’t go to church?
I have done– and still do - so many of the things that I pass judgment for on others. I need to let all that go. No excuses.
Jesus gave us two commandments: love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus did not say to pass judgment on your neighbors. Jesus said to love them.
Easy? Sometimes not, but that is what God is for – to help me find that empathy and love for others within myself.
And judgment? That is God’s responsibility. As I go about living my imperfect life in this imperfect world, I am glad judgment is God’s job and not mine. I need God’s love every day. When my time for judgment comes, I pray God will give me mercy - and love - not judgment.
Love. Not judgment. For my neighbors and myself.
With God’s help.
And no excuses.
— Lisalynn Reed