Forgive But Correct

Luke 6: 36-38
Dn 9: 4b-10 / Psa 79

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 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 treat their enemies, Jesus next taught them how to treat their own friends who have offended them or behaved wrongfully. And His message consisted of: mercy, forgiveness, generosity and discernment. First of all, our Lord cautions us not to be judgmental. To be able to reject all kinds of injustice and unrighteousness, we must learn instead 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 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 always be predisposed to forgive, even the unrepentant wrongdoer, but we must never allow a wrong to remain uncorrected.

I was jogging yesterday with an old friend of many years in our running club, and inquired why one of our long-time members, was no longer up-to-date in attending our Sunday runs. He told me that one of our past presidents had insulted our friend in front of the other members, and so the poor fellow had decided to “lie low” for a while. “So, did you admonish this guy for what he did?” I asked my old friend. When he did not answer, I said, “____, you shouldn’t have let a wrongful act like that pass without being rectified. Otherwise, the offending party will not feel any remorse, and the wound will not be healed.” I’m sure my 82-year old friend did not think I was being judgmental about this lapse on his part, because in the wisdom of his years he must have realized that correcting a mistake is more important than not getting involved in an argument. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” (Edmund Burke).

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. Do not let what we hear or see in the world be our basis when we decide. Help us instead to be able to discern by listening to our heart, where we want You to reside. Amen.

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