Romans 14:10,12 – Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgement seat of God. So each of us shall give an account of himself to God. (RSV)
The other day when driving in the snow and slush of the city, I began to think that so often it is the "other" driver who causes accidents, so I must be careful to avoid his poor driving, as well as watching my own. Then I remembered the safe driving course I took once in which the teacher told us that only I can avoid an accident, and so I must drive carefully and not worry about the "other driver".
Then I thought of a young man in the penitentiary whom I have been trying to help accept God's love for him. In a recent letter, he cries out, "Where was God when I wanted to tell the truth? No one wanted to hear it. Where was God when I got seven years, while the man who committed murder got only three?" This young man has been hurt so often by others he cannot even trust God. He is so fixed on what others have done to him unjustly that he cannot accept God's love.
Like the driver who is so concerned about the accidents others may cause that he creates an accident himself, this young man must learn to think only about his own conduct, and to leave the others to God, to avoid trouble in his own life. How often do we lose out on God's blessings because our minds are fixed on the sins of others? My mother used to call on an old English expression, which says somewhat the same thing that Paul does in today's text: "Every tub must stand on its own bottom!" Each of us can be concerned only for his or her own conduct. For that alone, we will each be accountable to God!
Prayer: Thank You, Lord Jesus for guiding our lives. Thank You for Your love for us, and for freeing us from worrying about the faults of others. Teach us day by day to look to You alone for direction and to remain ever faithful to the purpose You have for each of us. We rejoice to know that You have made each of us uniquely different from all others, and have prepared for each of us alone a way to walk. Lead us this day, in Your loving way. Amen.