Winning Influence with Reciprocating Love

“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.” (Luke 6:37-38 NASB)

As Jesus commands His true disciples to love their enemies, some of His commands will undoubtedly result in disarming those who are not yet saved, as they experience the kind of unconditional love shown by the disciples. But Jesus goes one step further and describes the kind of mutual respect the disciples must have with their enemies to help ensure they’re receptive to the message of the gospel. 

Some Bible versions specifically state that “they” will pour into your life a good measure. It’s not just that God may bless your obedience to these commands, but your enemies will treat you the same way you treat them. They’re used to giving what they’ve been given.

If your enemies know you to be judgmental toward them, condemning them, not forgiving them, and withholding good from them, they will respond the only way they know how. They will reciprocate in the same way you treat them. They will judge you, condemn you, be unforgiving, and not be generous toward you. But, if you turn the tables around and treat them with kindness and mercy, you will receive likewise from them.
 
So, do not judge them. This command doesn’t forbid law, government, justice and courts. Neither does it forbid discernment, conviction, making a right assessment of someone and confronting their sin. But it does forbid a harsh, critical and compassionless hostility to one’s enemies. And, if you don’t judge them, they will naturally not judge you.

A similar command is given to not condemn them. In other words, leave the final sentence up to God. We have no right to fix their damnation. We are neither the judge nor the executioner.
 
We should always be willing to forgive. Remember Stephen asked God to forgive those who took his life, and Jesus did the same on the cross. Hold no grudges and don’t allow bitterness to take root in your life. Forgiveness is God-like. Those whom you forgive will conclude you’re a son of God.

The hardest thing for them to understand will be, ‘How can he or she treat me that way when I treated him or her the way I did?” That oddity then becomes the basis and evidence of your witness of the truth to them. 

By Jim Connell

Jim and his wife, Becky, moved from Indiana to Lexington to establish the Lexington Rescue Mission. They have two married children, Laura and Brian.

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