Do As The Romans Do … ?

February 23, 2009 at 5:59 pm (1) ()

Don’t judge people! That’s it. That’s the whole chapter.

Just kidding. I feel like we do that too much. Read something and recite in our heads what we’ve been told it means since Sunday school. And just move on to the next section, which probably says something like… Love your neighbour! The Bible takes like 15 minutes to read. But really it doesn’t.

I unfortunately am drawn to consider the culture we live in as experiencing the same problems that the Romans are facing. I am, anyways. I’m experiencing those problems. I’ve never been Jewish… I only recently started really calling myself a Christian… I’m a Christian born of a massive, capitalist, super – power empire, and as a result I’m constantly being drawn back into the things that it represents. Money. Image. Living in this world as a Christian is like walking on thin ice with the life guard really close by all the time. It sucks a lot to fall in because its really cold and really bad for you, but the Life Guard is always going to save me from it as long as I call for help.

So… “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” That’s Romans 2:1.

Judging people is so… over said. So what does it actually mean? Its telling me not to judge people because I do. This one just hit me right when I read it. Its saying to ME…

YOU who does things wrong all the time…. as small as they sometimes seem to you…. you look down on those that do things wrong when they seem worse than the things you do. But here’s the deal. You are not better than the killer. You are not better than the malicious dictator.Cold Or the porn star. Or the crooked politician. And you’re no better, because yesterday, you let yourself get upset over someone that bumped into you at the fish market while you were on a vacation that would cost anyone else thousands and thousands of dollars. The little things start to carry more weight when they’re right in your face. But the truth is, they carry just as much weight as anything else. Because the killer has a daughter who loves him and who he loves back more than anything. And the malicious dictator was beaten by his Father, and now he feels in charge because he doesn’t know any other way. And the porn star is stunningly beautiful even when she doesn’t wear thick camera make-up, but no one has ever seen her for anything else since she hit puberty, so its all she really knows. And the crooked politician thinks that what he’s doing is going to save his family from danger. And he would die for them. Like Jesus died for you.

If Jesus can die for them, than you can die for them. You should be able to die for them.

I guess that all applies directly to me. Would I die to save Hitler from himself?

So what is repentance? Is it saying I’m sorry? Or is it changing? Is it both? Yeah probably. Apologies are utterly useless without fixing the problem afterwards, we should know that by now. And changing your ways is the idea, but you can attempt to do that without admitting that Christ is at all God. And we’re not strong enough to do this thing without Christ. Without Christ, we’ll fall back into the same patterns. Luckily, we have Him whether we want Him or not.

Out of evil comes distress. Out of all the poor choices, comes the crap. That’s just the way the world works. The water is cold. God doesn’t even get angry that he has to keep reaching out His hand. That’s just what he does. He’s been watching us walking over that ice for a while now, and he’s been yelling at us not to, but we’re dumb.

The world is covered in thin ice, and we’re constantly going to be walking on it. And since we’re all walking on it, its bound to break, whether we’re jumping up and down or delicately tip toeing from place to place. Its just a matter of when. And when we’re in, we can keep swimming around in the crappy situation we’ve created for ourselves, or we can try every day to make the right choice and when God asks “do you trust me?” … we can say yes. And He’ll reach out His hand, and he can pull us to shore. The best part is, God can reach out His hand to us… and what does that mean?

He’s here! He’s here with us right now! That’s amazing! And all we have is His hand. We have to have faith in Christ Himself, not just what he taught. We absolutely have to. I have to believe that what we’re doing when we choose to live this way is right, but I also have to believe that God is here right now to pull me out, because I’m not strong enough by myself. And He is. He is here. I know that now.

Thank you, God. Amen.


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