God's Kindness

Photo credit: lightstock.com No matter who you are, if you judge anyone, you have no excuse. When you judge another person, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things.

We know that God’s judgment is right when he condemns people for doing these things. When you judge people for doing these things but then do them yourself, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?

Do you have contempt for God, who is very kind to you, puts up with you, and deals patiently with you? Don’t you realize that it is God’s kindness that is trying to lead you to him and change the way you think and act? (‭Romans‬ ‭‬2:‭1-4‬ GW)

How do God's kindness and judgment fit together? Do they? They do, but perhaps not as you'd think.

Jesus made the problem with judging others clear when He talked about having a beam in our eye while trying to help someone get a speck out of their eye (Matt 7:1-5). He called it hypocrisy. That's you and me. We are hypocrites when we stand in judgement and condemn others. None of us is without fault, nor perfect in motive or behavior.

Jesus is the only faultless human. He is eternal and divine in nature, and came to earth to make God known to us, and rescue us from our selfishness. Jesus is our model, and reminds us of our inherent shortcomings. Judgment is simply the natural consequence of putting ourself in God's place. That's what we do when we condemn others. Isn't it ironic that God put Himself in our place, when He sent His Son into the world.

What about God's kindness, how does it fit in with His judgment? Kindness is God's first option. He extends His kindness, also called grace, to draw us to Himself. The essential of repentance is turning to God first. As a parent, I don't want my children to suffer consequences, I want to bless them.

How much more is this true of God! He's the One who puts the desire to bless in our hearts. He is gracious and merciful, and yet He is righteous and just. But God made Himself known so we could enjoy a personal, intimate relationship with Him.