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Harsh Criticism

I felt for a long time that the character flaw in someone else that I am most aware of and am most critical of is often one of my own weaknesses.  Could this be what Paul wrote about in Romans chapter 2?

The New International Version translates the verse I refer to like this, “You therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgement on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgement do the same things.”

The chapter before it describes some pretty critical character flaws by the way.If you get time you might want to read them.The Message translation starts out chapter 2 with this description of the subjects of chapter 1,  “Those people are on a dark spiral downward.” Then The Message continues with a translation of the key verse of this post. “But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one.” I think that is a good concept, maybe even mantra,for me to follow and confirms my opening observation.

The Message continues with its translation or paraphrase of the opening verse of chapter 2. “Judgmental criticism of others is a well known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors.”

I want to be careful that the reader doesn’t get the impression that we should never point out a friend’s flaws or bad decision. A true friend would do so. But there is a vast difference between a friendly warning or constructive criticism and a harsh, destructive one. I need to learn to be better at warning a friend and realizing the flaw I so readily see in others may be a way of God warning me.

So, the next time I develop a little road rage at that “stupid driver” who just cut me off, I should realize that rage is a true human response, but not a divine one.It shows me that I am also imperfect and fall short of God’s Spirit.

Categories: Romans; Judging Others

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Douglas Knight

I write about what I'm thinking or what I've imagined in an effort to regain that childhood imagination and marry with my many years of real experiences. I'm getting better at it the more I write.I am a published author of two romantic intrigue novels.My books can be found at or if you want a personalized copy, by emailing me at

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