Message: I got two major take-aways from Luke 6. The first is that we shouldn’t be so impressed with ourselves for being kind and merciful to kind people because even “sinners” do that. In this culture we hear a lot about being a “kind human” or a “good human”. It’s promoted as if it’s something new and different. What is supposed to separate us from the rest is being kind and gracious to those who oppose us, don’t agree with us and those who are not good to us. This is the hardest thing to do. Our flesh screams at the sacrifice and our pride is forced to submit. It’s also the easiest thing because it completely removes the guess work out of thinking we should decide who to be good to and who doesn’t deserve our best. We don’t have to search for things that might change our minds or our support. We don’t have to figure out who to cancel. We just treat every person like they were made in the image of God- because they were. How we treat has less to do with them and everything to do with who we are.
The second thing I took from Luke 6 is the section about judgment. We hear even from the lips of non believers “judge not lest you be judged”. The scripture continues with do not condemn and you won’t be condemned, and forgive and you will be forgiven. We tend to think this means if we don’t judge others, we won’t be judged by them. I think this has more to do with ourselves than we realize. People who tend to judge other people are usually full of all kinds of self hate. Because they judge others, they assume other people are judging them. Because they condemn others they assume people are condemning them and people who don’t forgive usually struggle with forgiving themselves. On top of this, we deprive ourselves of God’s forgiveness when we refuse to forgive.
Command: Treat all people with kindness, mercy and graciousness. Stop judging and condemning other people.
Promise: When we release ourselves of the responsibility for deciding who we think is worthy of our kindness, we are able to just focus on being kind, regardless of the response. When we release ourselves from taking the judgment seat, we tend to feel less judged and condemned ourselves.
Warning: When we believe we hold the cards for deciding who deserves our kindness, we become suspicious and angry. When we judge and condemn others, we fill ourselves with judgment and contempt.
Application: The application of this is easier said than done, but the premise is very simple. I don’t decide who is worthy of my kindness. I need to extend kindness, respect and graciousness to everyone regardless of how they treat me or respond to me.