“And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?” (Romans 2:3/KJV).
Our way of thinking has an impact on all that we do. It is worth considering how we think about ourselves and about others.
No matter what kind of goals you pursue you may reach a point where you begin to feel satisfied with your own achievement. If you envisage certain behavioural goals at some time you may begin to feel you are doing very well.
Here Paul is speaking to religious people who did know the laws and teachings of the Old Testament. They were very happy and proud of having the Torah. They were a people group possessing a divine book.
They had enough scriptural knowledge to discern, that others were falling way short of coming up to the standards given by God. They had studied the bible to know that others failed to adhere to God’s commandments.
They were somewhat content with themselves, but they did know others were doing wrong. Paul says they were even judging others because of their observed false behaviours.
It may not be that wrong that we should learn to evaluate what others are doing. After all very often we have to assess others in order to take good decisions as to whom to join or whom to trust.
Yet Paul here is pointing to something else. The purpose of the Word of God is not primarily that we should discern the value of the behaviour of others.
God wants us to discern and be aware of our own doings. He wants us to become honest with ourselves. He wants us to admit where we are missing the mark.
True holiness as taught by Paul begins with individuals assessing their own behaviour in the light of God’s commandments. We need to study the bible in order to learn for ourselves. It is important that we should come to see what God would want to teach us.
In his younger years Paul used to be very zealous about the commandments of the torah and the Jewish traditions. Yet on his road to Damascus the Lord himself appeared to him.
He had been judging and even putting to prison those who he believed were seriously disobeying God. Now he came to see that he himself needed to reassess his values. In
God’s own light things were quite different.
God wants us to think and to rethink. He cares about the way we think.
In the King James Version we read: Love “thinketh no evil.” The NIV says: Love “keeps no record of wrongs.”
As we begin to evaluate our own doings in the light of the Word of God, we get a chance to grow in love. As we learn to admit our own faults we will be less harsh in judging others.