the ideal day to remind ourselves that it is not polite to point.
“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” Romans 2:1 NIV
“Oh, no!” we say. “Not me! I don’t do that!”
Perhaps we don’t do exactly what we point out that another is doing, but humans have an uncanny ability to excuse any behavior, as long as it is their own. When it comes to other people, however, our tolerance doesn’t stretch to anywhere near the same distance. Of course, as Christians we should all know that, regardless of another persons sins, it is not our place to judge.
For some reason, we need to be reminded time and time again that judgment is reserved for God, and while we are to condemn sin, we are clearly prohibited from judging or condemning the sinner.
It is important to remember that there is a world of difference between pointing a finger at someone and caring enough about another human being to point out potentially harmful or sinful actions or behavior that they may be engaged in. At the same time, we must take care that our motives for pointing something out are a result of sincere concern for another human being. Any other reason is self-serving and a sin in itself.
We are frequently able to identify another person’s misgivings simply because we engage in the same, or similar, activity. This happens quite often and we should be extremely careful.
As Paul wrote, “So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?” (Romans 2:3 NIV).
Of course, the reason that any of this occurs in the first place is due to the fact that we have an unfortunate tendency to look for the negatives in each other. In many ways, pointing out another person’s flaws and failings is our only way of making ourselves feel better about us.
We should all develop the confidence that Paul exhibited in other people.
“I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct other people.” (Romans 15:14 NIV).
Looking for the goodness in people will help us to serve God better. When following His example, it shows that we are learning the lessons He is trying to teach. After all, God sees us all in the same way: we are all His children and we all make mistakes, but we all have His unconditional love.
We can do no better than to look at each other the same way God looks at us.
Those of us who have raised children have likely told them on at least one occasion that it is not polite to point. It is something we should all bear in mind next time we have the urge to do it ourselves.