Do you forgive others? Are you able to forgive? Is it difficult for you or is it something that comes easy? In Luke 6:37, Jesus tells us, "Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."
As I was doing my Bible reading, I read Luke 6:37 and was thinking about what it means to me. None of us want to be judged, right? We certainly don't want to be condemned, and I think we all want to be forgiven. So where does that leave us when we feel we have been wronged? Where do we turn? What do we do? How do we act? Don't we all want to be forgiven when we have done something wrong? I think we do. I know that I do.
Maybe we need to start with the first sentence, "Judge not, and you shall not be judged." Do you judge others? I try very hard not to. One of the things that I often say if someone says, "you never judge me", is that "I live in a glass house, I don't throw stones." I have to be very honest with myself though. I don't normally judge people that I know, but I have found, especially as I was watching the news the other day that I judge our president often. I get angry when I hear what he is doing, that so many people could have been without health insurance, or that my rates could go up even more. So I am judging, I'm just not judging someone that I know personally. I'm judging him each time I get angry with what I feel is his lack of compassion for people. Especially, people with less. Aren't we called to help others? Aren't we called to treat the least of us as we would Jesus? When did that get lost in the grand scheme of things.
And the King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, You did it to Me."
Then He will answer them, saying, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you do not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me."
So He says, if we do something for the least, then it's as if we do it to Him, and if we don't then it's as if we haven't done it to him. Back to judging, I am not supposed to judge, so I need to pray, and ask God to help me not judge. Our president could not have been placed in office without God, so let's pray for this man. Let's pray that he receive compassion for all of the citizens whom he is responsible for in our country. Do you judge? Do you need to ask God for help in this area of your life? He will help you, you just need to ask him.
Next, "condemn not, and you shall not be condemned." Here are some definitions that I found for condemn.
Condemn: express complete disapproval of or to express an unfavorable or adverse judgement
Synonyms: censure, criticize, denounce, blame, revile, chastise, berate, reprimand, rebuke
As I read the definition, I realized that I do this. I do it when I talk about our president, but I also do it with my family. I didn't even understand that criticizing or chastising was condemnation. Last weeks post was Bridle My Thoughts Bridle My Tongue, well when I criticize I am condemning. Check, this is now on my list of prayers. Do you need help with this in your life? Again, all you need to do is ask God for help. Add it to your list of prayers, He is there to help, and He wants you to succeed.
I love the last sentence in this verse, "Forgive, and you will be forgiven." It sounds so simple doesn't it? Forgiveness can be tough when we feel we have been wronged. We hold on to things that we perceive as wrongs, then we say we have forgiven, but we really haven't. Holding onto all of that sadness, anger, frustration, and disappointment only hurts us. When you don't let go of all of those terrible feeling, you can't heal. The forgiveness is not just for the other person, it's also for you. Do you remember how you felt when you really let go of your anger and forgave someone? Didn't you feel better.
And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses."
But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
God wants to forgive all of us, but we need to do our part, also. It doesn't just happen, but with His help we can do anything. Prayer is so important. It doesn't need to be a formal prayer. I wake up in the morning and start talking to God. I have conversations with Him all day long. I ask His advice, but I have realized that I also need to ask for help in more areas of my life. Do you need His help? Reach out to Him today, He is waiting for you, He is always there, He is listening, and He wants to help you. When you forgive someone, you are also forgiven. Isn't that what we all want? We don't want to be judged or condemned, we want to be forgiven.
I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake.
1 John 2:12
Have a blessed week.