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.
By John Grimm
It has amazed me the number of times that I have heard us humans saying to one another: “Forgive yourself.”
If we are forgiving ourselves, then when do we repent? If we are forgiving ourselves, then how do we know when to judge ourselves by God’s standards? It might turn out that as we attempt to forgive ourselves, that we discover we are self-seeking and that we are obeying wickedness rather than truth. I imagine we forgive ourselves, or at least attempt to forgive ourselves, when we know that we are not doing any worse than anyone else. Those other people might get caught, but we think we will not get caught and avoid judgement.
God is the judge. God judges each one of us. Nothing we do, try, or believe escapes his knowledge. Forgiving ourselves is right there in the categories of things we do, try or believe. Attempting to forgive ourselves perpetuates evil. What stops evil in our lives and those we attempt to judge?
Repentance. It is the kindness and forbearance of God that allows us to turn from our evil and turn to truth. When we seek for God’s glory, honor, and immortality, then we find God accepts our repentance and assists us to live eternal life. And that, even now.
God shows no partiality. We need not show ourselves any partiality. Our pursuit is the good that God has for us. We experience and know this good when we know Jesus Christ has died for our sins. We experience and know this good when we receive the forgiveness that God has for us. We experience and know this good when we give forgiveness to others, just as God has given us forgiveness.
God, we are too easy on ourselves and too hard on others. It is your judgment which can be our concern for ourselves. Thank you for aiding us in taking the log out of our own eyes as we repent of our evil ways. As you forgive us, we can and do forgive others. Thank you for the life we find in Christ Jesus and that you impartially give to us. Amen.