““Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.””
Luke 6:37-38 NKJV
As I observe the goings on in our world, I am amazed at the shortsightedness of people as they seek to do things to others with no regard for the inevitable blowback. As time has gone by, it becomes more evident that people will go to extremes to stick it to each other, only to be completely shocked at the response.
I read the passage in Luke this morning, and was reminded of the “golden rule, ” the idea of doing unto others as we would have them do unto us. It takes a reverse angle, as we are admonished to not judge, or we will be judged, and not condemn. Very often, the first part of this passage is invoked and taken out of context by people involved in sinful behaviors, who do not like being called out on them.
In the correct context, it is referring to judging people for things that we ourselves are guilty, or hypocrisy. In the greater context of the chapter, it is referring to the behavior of those living in the Kingdom of God. Jesus was in the midst of His sermon on the mount, as He explained the nature of the Kingdom and how people should behave in it.
Those in the Kingdom have been forgiven, and should reflect that salvation. We do not judge, because by grace, we have not been judged guilty of our sins, we do not condemn, because we have not been condemned for our sins, and we forgive, because we have been forgiven.
As believers, saved by the blood of the lamb, we have the holy Spirit in us, and the understanding that we have been saved from hell. As the Holy Spirit works in us, the fruit becomes present as we interact with others. We move from being people bent on getting even, of reacting with fleshly passion, to people reaching with the love of Jesus Christ.
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”
Colossians 3:12-13 NKJV
There is great reward in presenting the gift of salvation to others in word and deed. As reborn people, we represent Jesus, and bring to the world a sense of the Kingdom to come. We are in the business of giving, whether it be our love, our time, our concern, our money, our empathy, or our lives. Whatever we give, we know that our God is more than able to replenish.
If it is our lives that we are to give, we know that we have an eternity filled with glory we cannot imagine, awaiting us. Jesus has overcome death.
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.””
I Corinthians 2:7-9 NKJV
We represent a glorious God and preach of a glorious Kingdom that cannot be understood by earthbound minds. Let us endeavor to resist the desire to seek reciprocity in this fallen world, as the more negativity we hurl, the more we will receive, and the more hearts and ears will be stopped up to the message of the Gospel. We will have failed to communicate the love of Jesus Christ.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”
I Corinthians 13:1-3 NKJV
We must counter hate with love, as souls are hanging in the balance.
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