As we seek the Lord and greater humility, let’s take one more look at Luke chapter 6, verses 36-38 (NIV):”Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Be merciful; do not judge; do not condemn. These are instructions so badly needed in our world today. If people simply abided by these three instructions, what a wonderful transformation we would see in our land.
It is so easy to judge and condemn and so hard, at times, to be merciful. We see the larger judgments along political and philosophical lines, but we also judge others for all kinds of smaller matters. How often have we judged someone for how they look; what they wear; how they speak; what they like or do not like; how they pray? Have you ever judged someone for how they pray? I have and that is pretty pathetic of me.
Jesus is looking to do a work within us where His mercy and love replace our judgment and condemnation. I have a gracious friend who responded to someone really being a jerk towards her in this way: “maybe she’s had a bad day, or someone in her family died” and so on. That is mercy. I was inspired by her.
Jesus is clearly saying that God will treat us the way we treat others. This is sobering. You and I are not allowed to judge others! That is God’s job. And you are bringing His judgment upon yourself when you do judge. Rather be merciful. Forgive as you have been forgiven.
Judgment fills us with darkness and puts us into bondage. People hurt us. So we have a choice. As I heard in a message this morning, to focus on your hurt keeps you in prison. That is one choice. The other is to emulate our Lord who forgave those who were killing Him. This brings forth life in our soul.
Which choice are you making these days?
Jesus’ words have not only a warning, but also a promise: when you learn to give and forgive then that is what comes to you. You reap what you sow. Give a little and you receive a little. Give a lot and you receive a lot, whether forgiveness or money or comfort or grace. Praise God.
What if we all prayed that the Holy Spirit would immediately make us aware if we are being judgmental and condemning, and inspired us to rather be merciful and gracious? I think a lot of wonderful results would be forthcoming.
Let’s be like our Lord. Let’s walk in His grace towards us, rejecting condemnation so that we give mercy and grace to others. If we walk in condemnation then we will condemn others as well. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus! (Romans 8:1). Let’s pray.
Father, please help me to receive your mercy and grace so that I can be a vessel of grace to others. I confess my tendency to judge and look down on others. I repent. Please change my heart and stir me to forgive and to see others as you see them. Jesus, help me to be one who turns the other cheek and goes the extra mile. Save me from my pettiness and fleshly ways. Holy Spirit, please make me aware whenever I am judging someone else so I can quickly repent and turn. Teach me to love giving mercy and grace to others.