Why is pointing a finger at someone a bad thing? If I see a man do something wrong, what is wrong about me pointing my finger at him? If a woman does something wrong, and I know about it, what is wrong about my pointing her out? After all, the other person did the wrong… Isn’t that right?
As cheesy at it may sound, this pointed-finger complication has something to do with the four other fingers pointed back at the accuser. I suppose someone could avoid that silly predicament by pointing multiple fingers, or even their entire set of fingers, towards someone. Rather than removing accountability, however, such an act simply exaggerates the offense of the accuser.
This is precisely the point of the end of Chapter 1 and it is the point of the beginning of Chapter 2. If I judge somebody because of something he or she has done then the reality is that I stand judged also, if not doubly so. Simple truth: if I condemn another person because of their actions, I condemn myself. Such an ironic and heap-dirt-on-the-pile sort of move… because I am person who already stands judged by what I have already done… well before and well after the finger pointing.
This reading through the book of Romans isn’t so much fun anymore. I don’t think I like this letter-book of Romans right now.
Each of the sins listed by Paul at the end of Chapter 1 earn consequence. And Paul forces us to ask, could there ever be anyone innocent of the entire list? The pointed reality is that my name has made acquaintance with several items on the list. This is a sobering truth that I must confess before I go on reading: God’s wrath “rightly falls” even on me.
Romans 2:1-3 (NIV) ~~~ 1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?