Recently, I overheard my son say, “It takes one to know one” in response to his sister’s teasing. She had called him a name and he retorted back with that line. The teasing stopped. What can you say in response? It’s a classic line. I can think of other classic comebacks like, “I am rubber, you are glue. What bounces off me, sticks to you.” Or “You are what you say.” All retorts that I had forgotten about until I had kids old enough to talk and engage in sibling rivalry.
Imagine my surprise when reading through The Message – The New Testament in Contemporary Language – I came across that exact line, “It takes one to know one.” I found the line in Romans 2. In his letter to the Romans, Paul writes,
“Those people are on a dark spiral downward. 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. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanours. But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done.”
Well said. I believe that many of our well-known sayings come out of scripture. What the Bible teaches is good stuff. Take some time today and pick up a Bible; it’s worth reading.
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. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgement on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgement? (Romans 2:1-3 NIV)