April 25 – Romans 2:1-4
You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. And we know that God, in His justice, will punish anyone who does such things...
Don't you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can't you see that His kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
How convicting these verses are for one who struggles with pride, coupled with a strong sense of justice! For as long as I can remember, I have had very little patience for rebellion. When I see other people intentionally making choices that more or less shake a fist in the face of God, it just burns me up! I want to be able to "make" them do the right thing.
But then I come across passages like this, and I am brought to my knees! In the eyes of my Lord, I am just as prone to wander as the vilest sinner. I make choices that, though they may be subtler, shake my fist in the face as God as well. Who do I think I am to cast judgement on others when I'm a sinner too? Why can't I appreciate that God is being patient with them, as He was ever so patient with me? Why can't I trust that His patience is good, and is intended to bring them to repentance, just as it did me?
Dear sisters, may we recognize our own tendency toward waywardness, and rejoice in the compassionate patience of our Lord! May we praise Him day in and day out that He waited on us, redeemed us, and is making us new! What a privilege it is to be His dearly loved daughters! May we strive to be like our Good Father, and be patient with others, seeking above all else, not to see them punished, but to have the great joy of seeing them repent! And when they do, may we be like our Lord and forgive. Quickly, and wholly!
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