You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. (Rom. 2:1)

An innocent man was arrested and put in jail for nearly two days for a crime that his deceased twin brother had apparently committed. While he was applying for a construction permit, local officials discovered what they thought was a federal warrant for this man’s arrest. The FBI came to arrest him and started the process of extraditing him back to the state where the crime had apparently taken place. After comparing fingerprints, however, the prosecutor admitted to the judge that they had the wrong man and that he needed to be released immediately.

Paul had some harsh words for those who put down other people for doing the same things they were doing. These “judges” would eventually be condemned by their own words. The authorities who falsely imprisoned the man for his twin’s apparent crime came to quick judgment against him merely because of resemblance. Eventually, however, the facts exonerated the man and embarrassed those in authority.

Why do we condemn people for doing the very things we do? How can we be so blind? Perhaps the reason is that when we condemn others, we feel as though we’re letting ourselves off the hook. Nothing could be further from the truth. Far better to simply acknowledge our sins to God and own up to what He can plainly see is true.

Look today for opportunities to see yourself in the words and actions of others.

Doug Schmidt is a freelance writer and editor; he is also the small-groups director at his church.