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. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 

Romans 2: 1-2

Yes, I’m going to focus much of my effort this month on the whole memorization thing, but as we discussed last month, Apply the Word to Memorize the Word. So, please don’t let me neglect the very important practice of actually diving into these verses on the daily, even if it’s brief sometime.

If you read Romans 2 aloud and listen to it daily, you may start to find the chapter is a little strange. I certainly have, and I’m not always sure what to make of it.

But anyway, back to today. I also get confused often when the New Testament talks about judging other, because we all know that judging others is bad, right? Didn’t Jesus even say something along the lines of, How dare you pick at the speck in your brother’s eye when you have a plank in your own eye? Well, yes. But Jesus also said, first, remove the plank out of your own eye so that you may see clearly to remove the speck in your brother’s eye.

So how can we read today’s passage in light of the broader message of judgment in the New Testament? Clearly, Paul is condemning hypocrisy here. If you think you are better than others, you’re wrong, and you will be condemned for it. But does that mean we should never judge others? No, I don’t think it does, even though my generation specifically (secular and spiritual) seems to believe that judging someone else is the Cardinal sin.

But

Memory techniques

As I said yesterday, we’re going to use a modified version of the technique we used in January (when I tried with only moderate success to memorize Romans 8). So today, identify the first word in each verse and also identify one other keyword in the verse that you think makes it stick out. This word shouldn’t appear often in other verses. You should be able to identify the verse simply based on that word. Ok you got ’em? Now we’re going to apply the “memory walk” / “memory movie“. Think about a place that makes you follow a specific route, or think about an ordered list that you know like the back of your hand. I’m going to use U.S. Presidents as my list this month (and probably in other months), but you could use a commuting route you know like the back of your hand, or the order of the first 14-15 Super Bowls. It can be whatever, it just needs to be ordered, and you need to know it well.

I encourage you to look back on the memory movie post if you need a refresher on the specifics, but it will work like this: today is the first day of serious study of Romans 2, that means it’s George Washington day, and he’s going to help me remember my keywords! I’m automatically going to use “you” and “now” since they’re the first words of each verse. Now I’ll pick the main identifier words for each verse (this will get easier as you read Romans 2 over and over throughout the month and certain words start to stick out in your mind). Today I’m going to choose “another” for verse 1 and “based” for verse 2. So, the keywords for today, read in proper order are “You, another, now, based.”

(It looks like I’m going to keep procrastinating on this whole lucid dreaming thing.)

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