Sadly, I am a consummate excuse-maker.
For example, if I’m playing tennis and miss a shot, it is because the sun got in my eyes. If driving and I slam on my brakes, causing my passengers to lunge forward uncomfortably, it is because the car in front of me stopped irresponsibly quickly. I was just responding to their faulty driving technique. If I respond to my wife with a harsh word, it is because she “pressed one of my buttons.”
Isn’t it amazing how easy it is to cast blame on other people, passing judgment on their faults, flaws, and failures, while minimizing our own?
For almost thirty years, I drove without receiving even one moving violation by law enforcement. I took pride in that, feeling superior as I drove by another motorist on the side of the road who had been pulled over for speeding.
“I’m not a speeder” was a self-righteous boast I maintained for decades.
Until I got busted.
Driving home from a pastoral hospital visit in Gainesville, GA, I passed a patrol car in the median and glanced at the speedometer. Clinching my teeth, I looked in my rearview mirror to see the blue lights appear as beacons of judgment in the darkness.
But I was a pastor. Driving home from visiting a sick child in the hospital would qualify for leniency, right? Maybe if I had been on my way to the hospital. 😁
The law is the law, and no excuses were going to get me out of the inevitable. I received a ticket. My streak was over and my “driver righteousness” with it.
In Romans 2, Paul is on the heels of blasting the Gentile world for a multitude of rebellious sins against their Creator. Oh, how easy it would be for the Jewish converts in Rome to point fingers at the scum of the earth being pulled over with citations.
In this chapter of Romans, the apostle shows us that when we point a finger at the sins of others, three fingers are pointing back at us.
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for…