Devotional thoughts on Romans 3:9-20
By Thilini Cate
My husband and I grew up in two different cultures. He was raised in America and I, in Sri Lanka. We possessed a very different understanding of ourselves, both individually and societally. Our worlds drastically differed, from theologies to dining habits—one ate with a fork, and the other did not. Our views of right and wrong were as black and white as our skin color distinctions. When we married, these perspectives were forced to interact as they clashed.
Sin, it seems, is universal. While we shared the same inherent weakness of pride, as does all of humanity, how we expressed our sin varied a bit.
In the first two chapters of Romans, Paul addressed both groups of Christians, Gentiles and Jews, as equally having responsibility for their own sin: the Gentiles in the broader sense of morality and the Jews specifically with the law. No person does what is evil in his own sight. This is precisely what makes it evil. Even Adolf Hitler saw justification in the murders he committed, because he viewed his actions as moral.
As we grow in our Christian journey, we make an attempt to continue growing, to look back in retrospect at our prior ignorance and make necessary adjustments with the help of the Holy Spirit. We would be wrong to make excuses for ourselves in our lack of understanding in times of disobedience. Unfortunately that is our inclination.
Revelation of Reflection
Throughout our almost 13 years of marriage, my husband and I have influenced each other. We have learned where our strengths are, especially relative to each other, but we have also found which areas are lacking within ourselves. This is one of many ways God uses earthly marriage to bring us closer to him. Seeing our reflections in the mirror of our most intimate friend is one of the Holy Spirit’s ways of revealing his truth. When we as Christians read Scripture and reflect on ourselves as humankind interacting with the Son of Man, we are forced to see clearly—for “the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
When we see the beauty in the parameters of God’s Word, we are able to calibrate ourselves to his standard. This develops deeper and more humble earthly relationships while aligning to his will.
Thilini loves traveling the world with her husband, Chris, and curious son, Isaiah. She writes for Vanderbloemen Search Group while pursuing a Doctor of Educational Leadership at Oral Roberts University.