This week we find ourselves reading yet another chapter from Luke's gospel that is so rich in content. Forty-nine verses to be exact...and that's why it has been difficult to determine what to focus on and keep it within the confines of a weekly blog post.
In chapter 6 verses 20 through 49, Luke relates a rather compressed-feeling version of the Sermon on the Mount, especially when compared with what we find in Matthew's gospel. In fact, it is only one-fourth the length of Matthew's. That interesting point aside, I think for today's blog I want to focus on Luke 6:37-42 (CEB).
37 "Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good portion—packed down, firmly shaken, and overflowing—will fall into your lap. The portion you give will determine the portion you receive in return."I think about this passage often when I hear Christians say things like, "Love the sinner. Hate the sin." Such sentiments leave me wondering when it became our job to make judgments about someone else's behavior (regardless of whether or not we have sufficient biblical evidence to support our determination that they are committing what in God's eyes likely would be a sin). I mean, it's not as if God is too busy with pouring out love, grace, and forgiveness on His created ones to have the time to the judging Himself, right? No. God is God, after all, and He did say, "Judgment is mine; I will pay people back." And he also said, "The Lord will judge his people." (Heb. 10:30)
39 Jesus also told them a riddle. "A blind person can’t lead another blind person, right? Won’t they both fall into a ditch? 40 Disciples aren’t greater than their teacher, but whoever is fully prepared will be like their teacher. 41 Why do you see the splinter in your brother’s or sister’s eye but don’t notice the log in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother or sister, ‘Brother, Sister, let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ when you don’t see the log in your own eye? You deceive yourselves! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s or sister’s eye."
Besides, in my estimation anyway, God commanded us to do things like:
- "Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth."
- "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind."
- "You must love your neighbor as you love yourself."
I just don't seem to recall a commandment that says, "Judge your neighbor and call them out on their sins...especially the ones you find most offensive."
I guess how I see it is that we are to call people to turn toward God, to change their hearts and lives, and that we all "must be holy in every aspect of our lives, just as the one who calls us is holy." (1 Pet 1:15) But, I also believe it is up to the Holy Spirit to convict someone of what they must change about their lives so that they might become more fully the person God made them to be.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a log in my eye that needs my attention.