Judging Others

Luke 6: 36-38
Dn 9: 4b-10/ Ps 79: 8-9,11,13

For the measure with which you measure, will in return be measured out to you.
(Luke 6:38)

The good in some we may discount
If we always tend to criticize;
We shall all be called to account
At the judgment seat of Jesus Christ.

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 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, and it will be given to you: a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure, will in return be measured out to you.” (Luke 6:36-38)

Reflection

Our Lord taught His disciples (and all of us) that when we judge, we must judge with mercy, forgiveness, generosity and discernment. Jesus was telling them (and us) that we must judge rightly, and not be judgmental. We must be able to judge all kinds of injustice and unrighteousness. We must learn how to be discerning of what is good and evil. Through faith in God’s justice, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to determine what is right and wrong. Then we can teach, encourage and rebuke with authority. But it is never in feeling self-righteous about the sins or mistakes of others. Instead, we must judge with the humble realization that it is only by the grace of God that we have not fallen into the sin that we are condemning. It is with a heart predisposed to mercy that we will receive this gift of sound judgment. Jesus told His disciples, “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I am sorry,’ forgive him.” (Lk.17:3-4) We must never tolerate what is wrong, but we must always have a heart predisposed to forgive the repentant wrongdoer, who after all, is also a victim of his or her own sin.

A sister in our community shared about a trying period in her student days when she was wrongfully accused by her religious superiors of having stolen the money of a classmate. She never told her parents about it, and decided to suffer the humiliation and punishment alone. But young as she was, she firmly believed that the truth would eventually come out, and sure enough the real culprit, another classmate with a problem of kleptomania admitted to the felony. She never harbored any bitterness, but graciously accepted the apologies of her superiors, and even sympathized with the “thief” for her abnormal condition.

Have a merciful heart, rather than a judgmental one; forgive rather than condemn; and give of ourselves with compassion, without counting the cost. If we can do these, then our merciful and forgiving Father in heaven will pour out His immeasurable generosity into our life. This is our Lord’s firm and dependable promise.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for teaching us that there is only one standard by which we can judge others, and that is by judging our own motives. Amen.

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