Luke 6:37-38 “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.”
That last statement explains the significance of each of the little promises Jesus attaches to his commands. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” In other words, Jesus is saying, “Not only is it better for others that you not judge them in a loveless and hurtful way. It is really better for you. It will bring you blessing by keeping this command. You will avoid trouble if you do what I say.”
Isn’t it true that loveless judging on one side tends to inspire loveless judging in return? Whether your political leanings are conservative or liberal, isn’t this the kind of thing that feeds the fires of passion that make reasoned discussion and debate so difficult? On a personal level, do you want to live your life under constant criticism and derision from people whom you have looked down upon? Isn’t life more pleasant when others treat you with respect and forgiveness?
Of course it is. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. With the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
These same promises can be applied to the way that God himself treats us. If we could truly live such a life of love that we never judged or condemned anyone in a selfish or hurtful way, then God would have no reason to judge or condemn us. We would actually deserve his forgiveness, though forgiveness itself would be unnecessary.
But you know how often that has happened! Our sin prevents us from uninterrupted and unending enjoyment of these promises Jesus makes here. Here, too, we need God’s mercy, and he gives it. Here, too, God’s forgiving mercy changes us into less judgmental people. Then the promises Jesus attaches to these commands teach us how good and right he is to tell us, “Do not judge.”
One thought on “The Measure You Use”
Jesus calls us to a life that exceeds even the so-called righteousness of the Pharisees. It is sad that so many in the Body of Christ today do a better job of emulating the Pharisees than they do the One they claim to be faithfully following.