Untying the Judging Knot
Copyright © 2004 Jeremy Myers
"Judge not lest you be judged不論斷人，免得你們被論斷。" ~ Part III
1. Be Merciful ~ Luke 6:36 仁慈的〜路加福音6:36
" Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful."
Since verse 36 is actually the concluding statement of the divine standard, it explains how God judges. We read that since He is merciful, we should be merciful as well. This is the first principle of judging others. Be merciful. Show mercy. What is mercy? Mercy is not giving to others the punishment they deserve. When someone sins, mercy does not punish them.
A while back, I rented a movie from the video store. It was a three day rental, meaning I could have it for three days. In my mind, I thought that a three day rental also means three nights. I rented it on a Friday night and watched it. Then I kept it for Saturday night and Sunday night and returned it Monday morning. I found out though that a three day rental is actually only two nights. It's three days and two nights. So on Monday, when I returned it, I had a late charge. When I got out my wallet to pay the charge, the lady said, "Don't worry about it. Everybody deserves some mercy sometimes." That's what mercy is. I had returned the movie late, and so I owed a fine. But she did not make me pay the fine. She showed mercy. She did not give me the punishment I deserved.
Notice what else she did, though. She judged me. She judged that my movie was late. There was a standard of three days and two nights. It was clearly posted on the counter that a three day rental is only two nights. On the movie check out form which I signed, it clearly showed which day the movie was due back. I had ignored all of these instructions and had broken the three day, two night limit. Yet imagine if I had taken the movie in on Monday morning, and she had said, "You returned this movie late," and I responded by saying, "Judge not lest you be judged."
She would think I was crazy! There was a due date which I had clearly broken. Yes, I broke it out of ignorance, but that does not get me off the hook. I was guilty. And she made a correct judgment according to the standard that I was guilty. And I, once I rightly understood the standard, admitted that she had judged correctly, and I was guilty. That is why I pulled out my wallet to pay the fine. And that is when she showed mercy and did not make me pay the fine that I should have.
To be cont'd in Part IV.