‘Do not judge others, and God will not judge you; do not condemn others, and God will not condemn you; forgive others, and God will forgive you. Give to others, and God will give to you. Indeed, you will receive a full measure, a generous helping, poured into your hands – all that you can hold. The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you.’ (verses 37, 38)
Read Luke 6: 27-38
Children love to see how much they’ve grown. It’s a great compliment to a tiny tot to hear someone say, ‘Oh, you’ve grown. You’ll soon be as big as Daddy.’ But there’s something more important than the physical growth. To aspire to be ‘like daddy’ in every other way is a far greater goal for the child.
Before Jesus talks about judging, he says, ‘Be merciful just as your Father is merciful’. As God is to us (merciful and compassionate), so we are to be to others. These words make a difference to how you view the next section, where Jesus makes of you a measuring tape. He measures you by the standard you use for others.
When we judge others, we act as if we are better than them. But we can’t use ourselves as the standard of good and bad, right and wrong. God is the standard. And none of us measure up to God’s standard. But God’s way of treating us is the goal we aspire to. We aspire to grow up to be like our Father.
Jesus says that the way you treat others and react to them will determine God’s dealings with you. If you are generous, God will be generous towards you. And look at God’s generosity! Hold out your hands as God’s incredible generosity spills over. It will be more than you can hold!
Generous God, keep me from condemning others and being mean and unforgiving. Remind me of your generosity towards me, and help me to apply that measure to those I meet every day. Amen.
by Alicia Simpfendorfer, in ‘God’s Peace for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2005)
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