“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, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back." Luke 6: 37-38
“…for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” Has that been your experience? Are we always repaid with the patience we give, the kindness we share, the hope that we extend to another? Sometimes, right? But not always, not by a long stretch. Jesus has just finished his “Sermon on the Plain,” in Luke’s Gospel. He is telling those around Him how they can and should live a holy life. As we can see and hear, it is not easy stuff. We are to love the unlovable, be good to and pray for those who persecute us, give our right cheek to the hand of someone who just gave us a good slap on the left. What reward is there in this life for being a “doormat?” The world respects physical strength and power, the Chuck Norris way of handling disputes: by kicking butt!! The strongest, brightest, best-looking, and take-no-flack kinds of people are destined to rule the world…or at least the neighborhood.
But Jesus’ words have little to do with the usual way of doing things or the ruling of anything. Jesus is only concerned about building the kingdom of God. And yet, Our Savior is still living in the world, with a way of doing things in this life that tells those around us about God’s life, God’s rule, and God’s priorities. The “measure for measure we will get back” is in God’s time and by His grace. We are rewarded for following the way of love that is Jesus Christ. Our prize is that we become a beacon to those who seek another way, a better way, a more hopeful path through this life. Above all, our willingness to forgive, not condemn or judge, and to shun violence as a way of resolving conflict breaks down all that separates us from God. Oneness with God is something to be most desired, lived for, and cherished. Practicing the way of Jesus Christ means that our blessings will be “running over.”