Luke 6:37-38 – “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” NKJV
Please don’t misinterpret my title or caption. I believe the declaration in the text verses but am troubled. I felt compelled to address this passage again and will likely do so in the future. I have encountered something among fellow believers that troubles me and if you will give me a few minutes I will highlight some of my concerns and questions.
Having engaged in conversation with some believers who have been hurt and wounded or are simply troubled by what they perceive as non-biblical words, deeds, or attitudes in other believers some troubling matters were broached. I have heard preachers and non-preachers rail against the perceived absence of unconditional Love in other believers. I readily acknowledge that love is difficult and unconditional love virtually impossible outside of our Lord Jesus and the inner working of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.
My problem is not with calling attention to the failure of fellow believers to extend Unconditional Love it is making it personal and all about me. I have been in difficult times, endured false accusations, and needed people to love me without reservation and question. In those times some did and others, whom I thought would, did not and I was hurt. If I focus on their failure but make it all about me, I have weakened the message.
It is far too easy for the heart to have seeds of bitterness in it and if a root of bitterness springs up it defiles. The problem is that few recognize the root within themselves and our lashing out and castigating others for their failures to Do the Biblical Thing somehow becomes a false balm for us.
The Bible tells us many things about life and living it, but I want to call attention to two specific things:
- The Principle of Reciprocity.
Here in Luke 6, Jesus identifies a particularly germane truth that Giving is the key to receiving. Carefully read the words of our Lord in verse 38: “Give and IT will be given to you…” IT is as essential in understanding as GIVE for it is WHAT WE GIVE that we receive. What we give will come back “good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over…”
Therefore, if we are not receiving what we need it might serve us well to look beyond the failure of others and examine our own hearts, lives, and actions and be sure that we have been giving, what we are now needing. I am not saying that if some fail you it is your fault only suggesting that before we allow bitterness, hurt, and/or anger to well up inside we might want to examine our planting in the past, present, and future.
- The Law of Sowing and Reaping.
In Galatians 6 we read the directive of the apostle Paul where he advised the Galatian believers and all who would read in successive generations the truth about “Reaping and Sowing”. It is a farming principle that refuses to fail. In the principle of sowing and reaping, we find we Reap WHAT we sow, MORE than we sow, and LATER than we sow.
I too am troubled when I see professing Christians coming up short in the demonstration of godly character, but as I look at my own heart, I frequently find that I have fallen short in one of the two principles listed above.
I would never suggest that you will never experience the pain of others’ failure if you follow these guidelines, but I do insist that if you follow them from the heart you will prevent a root of bitterness and reject any tendency toward self-pity. The pain will still come as others fail you, but you will walk in a peace that is beyond human comprehension.
God bless you as you go through your day!