Equal opportunity rant

8 Jul

It has been a while since I have blogged. I have been caught up in fabric – I am making a baby quilt for my nephew and his wife’s expected off-spring.  AND, Paul is just a tough guy to read and write about.  I am a wimp.

Yet, back to the task at hand.  As soon as Paul finishes passing judgement on all kinds of misdeeds, he rants against those who judge others.  It seems as though all the people that Paul is writing to have behavior issues.

I sympathize with Paul. I have known some church people who come up to the pastor to let them know how ‘certain people’ in the church are misbehaving.  I usually listened to these stories, didn’t believe them, and tried not to have the information influence the way I treated the people who had been ratted out by their ‘brother or sister in Christ’.  And, if I stayed in the church long enough I usually found out that the person who had reported the ‘sin’ was doing just as bad or worse than had been reported.

I think this is where Paul is standing.  He is among new Christian (before the term was really even used) and he is trying to wake them up to the reality that being a new person in Christ should change your behavior for the better.  You couldn’t just pretend to had given up all the ‘life-killing’ thing you used to do; or try to make someone else look worst than you; you had to really change your way of life.

Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things. You say, “We know that God’s judgment on those who do such things is in accordance with truth.”Do you imagine, whoever you are, that when you judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself, you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. For he will repay according to each one’s deeds: to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; while for those who are self-seeking and who obey not the truth but wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be anguish and distress for everyone who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality.

I find it interesting that Paul keeps repeating that God shows no partiality, but he always makes sure that the Jews are mentioned first.  Paul is human, like the rest of us.

The reality Paul points to is real.  We will grow what we plant in our lives.  If it is kindness and gentleness then that is what will grow out of us.  If it is envy or anger or fear, then it will grow out of our lives as well.  God can give us the good things to plant in our spirits.

C.S. Lewis is one of my favorite writers and Mere Christianity is a book I have read many times.  Lewis says that we all think we are fairly good Christians, but it is when we are tried, or rushed, or not feeling well that the true self come out.  The self we are underneath our own attempts to be a good person.  I often think of this when I snap at someone when I am having a bad day.  I pray for God to change my heart all the way through, for me to be living in the Divine Presence, even on a bad day.

Peace,

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2 Responses to “Equal opportunity rant”

  1. Phyllis Terwilliger July 8, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    I can so relate to your comments from C.S. Lewis. I ask myself frequently who is the real Phyllis.

  2. Linda Rose July 23, 2015 at 4:47 pm #

    Just reading this now, a few weeks late, . . . and on a short-internal-fuse kind of day…. Good timing. 🙂 Thanks, Mary and Paul.

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