Faith in Action
Open Your Bible
Romans 2:1-16, Psalm 51:1-12, James 1:22-25
“I really hope he’s listening to this. He needs this message.”
I can’t tell you the number of times those words have run through my mind as I sat in church on a Sunday morning. Who is “he,” you ask? Why, my dear husband, of course!
As I listen to the pastor’s words, I think about the takeaways that many of the people in my life could apply to their lives. After all, it is much easier to judge the actions and intentions of others than to take a look at our own hearts, isn’t it?
Be gracious to me, God, according to your faithful love; according to your abundant compassion, blot out my rebellion. Completely wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin. For I am conscious of my rebellion, and my sin is always before me.
These words from our supplemental reading beautifully complement our main text today. In Romans 2, Paul is challenging the Romans to truly consider the basis of their judgment of others—which is none. Each of us has one thing in common—our need for Christ. We do not earn this righteousness through our obedience. It is Christ alone who imparts this gracious gift to us!
So often, I believe it is up to me to challenge the people in front of me to be all they can be in Christ—after all, if I don’t say something, who will? But when I choose to judge pridefully instead of discerning my own heart and how to lovingly speak the truth, I have only brought judgment upon myself.
Yes, God desires us to be doers of the Word and not only hearers (James 1:22). But this starts with our personal sanctification, not in attempting to teach others to do what we haven’t learned how to do ourselves.
My role is to be led by the Holy Spirit in submitting to His will for my life. Period. By trying to usurp His authority in the life of another, I am guilty of believing that my ways are better and that I know more than He does. May it not be so!
Sister, you can trust the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those you love. And you can also trust Him to tell you when to speak up for another’s well-being. As you surrender in obedience to Him, may He do for you as David prayed, “restore the joy of your salvation to me, and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit” (Psalms 51:12).