January 27th, 2007
Have you ever thought of someone else as ugly? The world might be a simple place if some other people were ugly but you weren’t. The problem is that you’re ugly too. Even if your complexion is perfect, there’s a fair chance that your toes are ugly. Even if your toes and the whole of your external appearance seems to be perfect, you’ll start to find a bit of ugly when you look down your throat or inside your ear or up your nostril. You see, beauty is an impossible standard, and when you stick the label of “ugly” on someone who deviates from the standard of perfect beauty, you also put that label on yourself.
Paul’s Letter to the Romans — Chapter 2
2:1 There is no excuse for you to condemn others, because when you condemn others you are condemning yourself because you do the same things. 2:2 We know that God’s judgment on people who do such things is true. 2:3 Do you imagine that when you condemn people who do such things, but do the same yourself, that you will escape the God’s judgment? 2:4 Or do you not care about his extravagant kindness, tolerance and patience? Are you unaware that God’s goodness leads you to repentance? 2:5 But because of your defiance and refusal to repent you are storing up anger against yourself for the day of anger when the righteous judgment of God will be revealed.
2:6 God will pay back everyone for what they have done. 2:7 He will give eternal life to people who persist in doing what is good, seeking after glory, honour, and immortality, 2:8 but people who are selfish, who follow wickedness instead of truth, there will be anger and fury. 2:9 There will be persecution and distress for every person who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek. 2:10 But there will be glory, honour and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 2:11 God is impartial.
2:12 Those who have sinned without having the law will also die without having the law. Those who have sinned when they knew the law will be judged by the law. 2:13 People who hear the law are not the ones who are righteous before God; it is people who comply with the law who will be justified. 2:14 When Gentiles who are unaware of the law instinctively comply with the law, they, although unaware of the law, embody the law in themselves, 2:15 because they show the essence of the law written in their hearts. Their consciences direct them, so they know whether they are guilty or innocent. 2:16 On the judgment day God will judge people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, according to the good news which I tell.
2:17 If you consider yourself a Jew, and rely on the law, and boast about God, 2:18 and know his will, and agree with all the right things because you are educated in the law, 2:19 and have convinced yourself that you yourself are a guide for blind people and a light to people who live in darkness, 2:20 an instructor of ignorant people, a teacher of children, possessing in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth, 2:21 do you not teach yourself when you teach others? When you preach against stealing, do you steal? 2:22 When you tell people not to commit adultery, do you commit adultery? When you despise idols, do you rob temples? 2:23 When you boast about the law, do you dishonour God by breaking the law? 2:24 As it is written, “God’s name is abused amongst the Gentiles because of you.” 2:25 Circumcision is worthwhile if you comply with the law, but if you break the law your circumcision reverts to uncircumcision. 2:26 If uncircumcised people comply with the requirements of the law, won’t their uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 2:27 People who are physically uncircumcised but comply with the law will condemn you, who have the written law and circumcision but are a breaker of the law? 2:28 Being a true Jew is not a matter of outward appearances, and true circumcision is not a matter of outward appearances. 2:29 A true Jew is a Jew when no-one else is looking, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, something spiritual rather than literal, to gain approval not from people, but from God.
Entry Filed under: Generosity