Luke 6:37,38 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged.<sup class="crossreference" value="(AT)”> Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.<sup class="crossreference" value="(AU)”> Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.<sup class="crossreference" value="(AV)”> For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

      How easy it is to judge? And easier still for condemnation to follow. Such an unholy progression is born into us and always at hand.   Judgement and condemnation, said or unsaid, the look as bad as the word has ruined many a person on the receiving end of it.  The damage is done with our prideful look ; “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, . . .”   (Proverbs 6:16,17) The damage is done with our tongue.  “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)  Yes there are consequences!

     When we judge harshly we will be judged harshly.  This is a spiritual outworking of the law of sowing and reaping;  “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”  (Galatians 6:7)  Judging and condemnation is by its very nature a thing of the flesh.  It is so tempting – I am so tempted – when someone falls to judge them inadequate and denigrate them which is the easiest form of condemnation as it relies on flabby pride.  The Bible tells us differently; “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit<sup class="crossreference" value="(A)”> should restore<sup class="crossreference" value="(B)”> that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”  (Galatians 6: 1)

     Jesus’ treatment of the woman caught in adultery is the pattern of holiness when it comes to dealing with each other’s frailties; “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7)  Jesus did not compromise with respect to her sin and Jesus did not condemn her; ” . . . neither do I condemn you, . . . . Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11)  He shows us that it is possible to be merciful and not compromise.  For us the way to such pure mercy is to see ourselves for what we are – sinners in need of mercy.

     Drug addicts who are struggling in recovery often speak of working their own program and not judging the difficulties others have.  God gave us Scripture to help us all ‘work our own program’;  “If anyone thinks they are something<sup class="crossreference" value="(D)”> when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone,<sup class="crossreference" value="(F)”> without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.”  (Galatians 6:3,4,5)  If you aren’t addicted to anything, maybe you’re like me  and tend to think that you’re pretty good.  This scripture can help us!

    Judging others is very bad for our spiritual health.  Paul clearly tells us; “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgement on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgement do the same things.”  If we judge, we condemn. If we condemn we ourselves pay the price we demand of others.  If we judge and condemn we commit injustice; “If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.”  (Matthew 12:7)

     Eating humble pie is the best antidote for the hypocrisy of judging and condemning; “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5)  We can learn to become more forgiving by taking a good hard look at ourselves; by doing what alcoholics call our step four – a moral inventory.  Jesus tells us plainly; “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14,15)

     I would not want to live my life without having God’s forgiveness.  Would you?

    Praise the Lord!

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