I’m continuing, now, with my study of the Gospel of Luke. We’re looking at the Sermon on the Mount. The Lord now gives us four things that return to us as we give them out.
“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.”
The first is judgment. That speaks of a decision between right and wrong. It seems that we’re always so quick to judge the words and actions of others.
Of course, we don’t like it when others give us their verdict. Judging is something that hurts when it’s used improperly.
It always amazes me how our judgment differs depending on the object. From my perspective, when you do something I think is wrong, you have no excuse. When I do something wrong, however, I have a good reason why I did it!
We need to learn to stop being so judgmental. Or, at least we need to keep our judgments to ourselves. In this way we’ll not be judged as much.
The next thing the Lord talks about is condemnation. This is the actual punishment for what we think is a self-evident wrong.
This punishment can take on many forms. Sometimes it’s avoiding someone we think has wronged us. Other times it may take the form of gossip and slander. We want others to know the damage that was caused to us.
This type of behavior has no place in the body of Christ. If you’re quick to pass out condemnation, then it will come back upon you. Others will scrutinize your life more closely. This is a position I wouldn’t want to find myself in.
These are two negatives that we need to avoid. Now the Lord gets to the positive things to give out.
The first is forgiveness. This is a very important concept in the Scripture. It literally means to release and free fully.
It’s the opposite of judgment and condemnation. When we judge and condemn someone, it’s as if we’ve locked them away in our mind. We attach them to what they’ve done and constantly remember it.
Forgiveness, on the other hand, releases them from this internal prison cell. We no longer associate them with what they may have done.
Forgiveness is more than simply saying the words, “I forgive you.” It’s a choice to forget, or act like you forget, what they’ve done in the past. It’s giving someone a fresh start. After all, isn’t that what Christ has done for us?
Then, Jesus uses the generic word, give. This applies to all of our giving. It doesn’t matter if it’s money, resources, encouragement, or any other thing. When we give, it opens the door for us to receive.
The thing we have to realize is that the blessing comes in many forms. Just because I give someone money, doesn’t mean I’m going to get money in return. There are many times that God blessed me with things that are worth much more than simply cash.
The important thing is that we understand, the return is always more than the initial giving. That’s true in all of these areas. When we give judgment, condemnation, forgiveness, and resources, the return is “a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.”
We must make sure that we’re careful in what we give out. All of us want good things flowing into our lives. If that’s the case, then we should strive to be a conduit of God’s blessings flowing out to those around us.
Question: How have you seen this principle at work in your life?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi