“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, running over, will be poured into your lap.
For the measure you use will be the measure you receive.”
Maybe you’ve met people who seem to have no interest in Scripture, no desire to follow Jesus, or who would out-and-out admit to not believing in God but yet seem to love this verse: Do not judge…do not condemn…forgive…It seems they think that here Jesus is teaching a universal acceptance of every lifestyle, every choice, and every action. Is that what Jesus is talking about here?
There is a difference between showing the unconditional love that Jesus has spoken about in Luke 6 and unconditional approval, which many people seem to want from vv.37-38.
There is a kind, loving, and Christian way to look at the world and the people around you and decide if they are circumstances and situations that you want to actively put yourself into. It is possible to look at those around you and discern the kind of fruit their lives are producing (Luke 6.43-45) without judging or condemning (2 John 1.10, 3 John 1.11, 1 Corinthians 11.1, 1 John 4.1-3, 1 Thessalonians 5.21-22).
There is also an unkind, harsh, unChristian way of looking at the world around you, and this is what Jesus is counselling and commanding against. Paul wrote to the Galatians and said, simply, that what we sow we will reap (6.7). By way of application here, if we go around with a mean-spirited attitude looking to find fault in others, how can we expect to be treated any different? Yes, be discerning, be aware of what is going on around you, filter everything through your Christian lens on life (1 Thessalonians 5.21-22) but no, don’t use that as a pious and sanctimonious ledge from which to look down on people.
Today, let us use this checklist written by Pastor and Author David Guzik to see if we are putting Luke 6.37-38 into action appropriately.
We break the commands of Luke 6.37-38 when;
- we think the worst of others.
- we only speak to others of their faults.
- we judge an entire life only by its worst moments.
- we judge the hidden motives of others.
- we judge others without considering ourselves in their same circumstances.
- we judge others without being mindful that we ourselves will be judged.