What does judging others have to do with giving? According to Jesus, a lot! In the last post, we read Luke 6:38, where Jesus said, “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.” We explored how preachers use this scripture to preach the “prosperity gospel”, and some of the (less than pure) reasons why a person may be giving. As we explore this scripture further, it is most important to take it in context with the verse just before it, Luke 6:37: “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 the Best: Mercy & Forgiveness
When we study verse 38 along with verse 37, how many people could confidently say they are a “giving person”? Probably very few. This is because verse 37 deals with the state of our hearts in relationship to other people, specifically in the areas of mercy and forgiveness. This is not about how we appear on the outside to other people; this is about how we really are on the inside, as seen by God Himself! (read 1 Samuel 16:1-7). As you read Luke 6:37, note that Jesus said we are to give:
Jesus said these are areas where we are to be most abundant in our giving. Jesus said we are to give mercy and forgiveness abundantly, without measure, overflowing to others. It is the heart of the Father that gave us mercy and forgiveness, running over, poured into our laps…..He did this when He sent Jesus! God commands that, as His disciples, we give the same to each other.
Call to Action
I invite you to pray to God and talk to Him about someone you are holding a grudge against or need to forgive. (If you are a person who is easily offended, there may be more than one person!) Or maybe there is someone you have a slightly superior attitude towards because of their choices and lifestyle? I encourage you to pray and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading regarding how to bless that person with mercy and forgiveness. Perhaps with a phone call, a small gift, or lunch together? Regular, daily prayer for the relationship is also necessary, but don’t stop there. Exercise your faith, make it complete by putting it into action (James 2:20-22). Please the Master Jesus and be the one to make the first move to give ABUNDANT mercy and forgiveness. If you do, you will experience God’s power in your life on a whole new level!
Do not just listen to the word; in faith, act on it! (See James 1:22-25). It is by faith that we do what Jesus said. The result? God’s blessings, for this is where you will find the freedom that Jesus preached about: Freedom from our fears, petty grudges, self-condemnation, self-centeredness, need to be right, need to be in control—freedom from being slaves to sin!! Test out this spiritual truth in your life today! I have, and what Jesus said is true!