The Other Side of Christmas: December 12

Generous in Forgiveness          

December 12, 2019
by Wayne Sinclair        

Luke 6: 36-38 (NASB)  
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon and you will be pardoned. Give and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
While much has changed about the world since Jesus said these words, they are just as applicable today as when He spoke them. People are still inclined to find fault and condemn others while readily justifying their own behaviors. Isn’t it far easier to look for flaws and mistakes in those around us than to deal with our own faults and weaknesses? But when we are always critical, we tend to have a lot of critics in return. In today’s verses, Jesus offers a very different path for us to follow. He instructs us to not only avoid judging and condemning others, but to freely pardon them as well—in the same way that each of us needs pardoning by those we offend, as well as from God.  
When we admit our own failings and our need of a Savior, it becomes harder to judge and condemn others. Our forgiveness is not meant only for those who ask for it or deserve it either; instead we are to be as generous as God has been with us. He has redeemed us through Christ’s death and resurrection. He has forgiven us of our sin. Just as God’s generous forgiveness removes all condemnation, the outpouring of our own forgiveness eliminates the toxic waste of hatred and unkindness that can accumulate in the dark recesses of our hearts toward those who have wronged us. Jesus’ message here is at the very core of the Gospel: what He generously gave to us is ours to give to others; what is given to others is what is given back and by it, we are set free! Generosity flows both ways and by our giving, many will seek reconciliation, desire to learn more about who Jesus is, and give their burdens over to God.  
Let God be the sole judge of others in all your relationships. Consciously forgive by name those you believe have wronged you and those you have judged and condemned.   
Lord, I thank You that there is no condemnation because of Your Son, Jesus. I confess my own shortcomings today and ask for forgiveness and the power to change. Help me not elevate myself as the judge of others but instead, let me see those whom You have put in my path with eyes of compassion rather than the glare of condemnation. Give me patience with those around me that I would generously extend the same grace to them as You have so generously extended to me. Thank You for speaking to me through Your Word. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray, amen.
About the author:
Wayne Sinclair
Wayne grew up as a missionary kid in southern Africa. He retired from the Marine Corps in 2018. He and his wife Delena have been married 27 years and have two children.  He has attended Stafford Crossing for five years, is active in a small group, and has been involved in various ministries.