“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”Luke 6:37-38
Some time ago I read that the most popular verse in the Bible is the taken from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount –
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”Matthew 7:1-4
Most of the people I’ve heard use that verse stop at the portion I placed in bold above and they miss the point. Jesus doesn’t condemn judgment. He condemns the attitude of judging without seeing clearly.
But if I’m a judgmental person, condemning people recklessly then I am in the wrong and I need to repent.
The second two commands Jesus delivers in the passage from Luke are to forgive others and to be giving or generous to others. There are clear benefits to doing both. When we forgive, we can be forgiven. In another passage, Jesus tells us –
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”Matthew 6:14-15
Second, when we are generous toward others, we will receive generosity from God as well. There is no promise here of the prosperity gospel, but God will reward us, often in ways we don’t expect.
So, let us not be hasty to judge and condemn and be quick to forgive and give.