Romans 2:21-24 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

These are strong accusations against those who set up themselves in pride and arrogance. They think of themselves as holier and more righteous than the Gentiles around them. Paul shows that they do the things they accuse the Gentiles of doing. The result is that God is given a bad reputation. People look at us and base their idea about God upon what we do and say. We are God’s representatives. The problem is when we say we believe one thing but do another. The problem is increased when we criticize and judge others but we do the same things in our lives. For example, we may criticize those who steal but we cheat on our taxes or cut in line. We may judge murderers but we get angry with our brother or sister. Nowadays, it is common to hear people criticize politicians and leaders. Paul is not writing about being discerning but about the deeper issue of pride and self-righteousness. There are times we must judge others, but we must do this in the strength of humility and not with the weakness of selfishness.

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