Lent 2019 – The Meaning of Discipleship Part 2

March 29, 2019

Luke 6:37, “Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

Judge:

• one who makes judgments

• one who gives an authoritative opinion

Condemn:

• to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil usually after weighting evidence and with our reservation

to pronounce guilty

Forgive:

to cease to feel resentment against

to give up resentment of or claim to requital

Antonym for Judge:

• approve

• flatter

Antonym for Condemn:

• exonerate

• clear

Antonym for Forgive:

• punish

• blame

Luke records in chapter six, the words of Jesus, “Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged…”. The verse goes on to tell us to not condemn and to forgive. This verse is something I honestly contend with on a regular basis. As our author, Juan Huertas puts it, “human beings are quick to make assumptions in microseconds in order to categorize people and circumstances.” Sometimes this happens due to the nature of our jobs and other times it’s just the nature of a specific situation we are experiencing. Making judgment calls are necessary, it is entirely a different story if we pass judgment for no other reason than “because we can.” Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do it! None of us are perfect, though we may strive for perfection, in the end we are all fallible human beings.

There’s many ways to try to combat the ills of judging others, to include at times condemning them. One such way is to mentally and emotionally placing ourselves in the place of those we are judging. Metaphorically speaking, walking around in their shoes. And, a second way is to remind yourself of the last time you were judged by a peer or boss, how did it make you feel? Do you really want to make someone go through those feelings? Remember, we are talking about judgment not supportive conversation for growth.

Once we start down the path of judging, condemnation is always close behind, before we even realize it, we are judging, condemnation turns the tables and we are neck-deep into talking about someone and making assumptions about their life, their actions, their clothes, their car, you name it, nothing is regarded as sacred. This can happen within minutes but the damage caused can last a lifetime. If we could just train our brains to work more closely with our mouths, life would be so much smoother. If for a split second, we could pause and think about the ramification of our words and imagine for a moment the tables were turned and we were in the “hot seat” and it was our reputation and personhood that was being judged. This reminds me of the “Golden Rule” taught to me in elementary school, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Those are strong words!

Jesus tells us to forgive and we will be forgiven. I like to think of it this way as well, “Forgive others as you want and hope for forgiveness.” If I want, hope or even expect to receive forgiveness from others I must be willing to extend forgiveness as well. When we cease to forgive, we have no more hope. Society as we know it will be no more. Compassion will have died. We must practice forgiveness, we must be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world. Sharing the love of God with everyone we meet, whether it is done in word or deed, all to the glory of a God!

Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Brothers and sisters, friends and family I pray that you experience the love of God in real tangible ways today! Let’s continue on our path through the Lenten season, remembering the great sacrifice of God, our Father and of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. ~Peace be with you~

Breath Prayer: No judgment,…just grace.

~Peace~

References:

https://www.biblegateway.com/

https://www.merriam-webster.com/

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