How to Judge

Luke 6:36-38
Dn 9:4b-10 / Psa 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 tend to judge and criticize;
We all shall be called to account
At the judgment seat of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, “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

After teaching His disciples how to love their enemies, Jesus next taught them how to treat others who have offended them or behaved wrongfully towards them. And His message consisted of: mercy, discernment, and forgiveness. First of all, when our Lord said “Do not judge,” what He meant was we should not be judgmental. God expects us to judge wisely before we act. We are to “test the spirits, to discern if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1Jn 4:1) St. Paul advised, “Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.” (Eph.5:10)

As verse 36 of this passage says, we should be merciful at the onset before we start to judge. More than a week ago, a young impostor who claimed to be a grandson of billionaire Henry Sy, and architect of the SMDC conglomerate contacted me and our board secretary about that company’s alleged intention to donate funds to our Red Cross chapter. The only credentials that he presented were his Facebook account, filled with SMDC real estate projects, and fraudulent calling cards. But he carelessly gave himself away when he asked to borrow a certain amount of money from our chapter because “his allowance had not yet arrived.” Thereupon an entrapment was arranged and he was apprehended by the police for fraud and impersonation. When we saw the 24 year old amateur thief-impersonator, my initial reaction was one of anger for his deception. But later on, my anger turned to pity and compassion for this young offender. I could only sympathize with his fallen state, but he had to face justice for breaking the law. I would rather not pursue the petty case against him, but prudence dictates that his fate will have to be decided by our chapter’s board.

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 always in humble supplication and 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 be predisposed to forgive the repentant wrongdoer.

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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