Devotional: May 11, 2022
“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”
Luke 6: 37-38 The Message
Jesus encourages us to cultivate a generous spirit, and a forgiving heart. He brings out the truth that if we come across as overly critical, and harshly judgmental, we will sometimes find ourselves on the receiving end of those same kinds of critical judgments! That is not a fun place to be!
These days, it feels like we live in a deeply divided and overly critical culture. Consequently, we can find ourselves pulled into the behaviors of the age, judging this thing, and being quick to criticize that item. Our Lord would have us choose a different path. Rather than being hard on people, try to find compassion and tenderness towards others. Most people are well aware of their shortcomings and faults. They are eager and hungry for kindness and love. Jesus offered them His love. We ought to do the same.
Jesus also taught that what is true about compliments or criticism, is also true of life in general: we tend to reap what we sow. Therefore, the generous tend to find themselves the recipients of others’ generosity. The opposite is also true: those who are stingy tend to experiences others as less than generous. What is the alternative? To give! Jesus gave everything for us- showing us through His life, and even His death, that giving is the way to life…
Lord of every blessing,
Help me to be understanding. Prompt me to give others the benefit of the doubt, especially when I am tempted to be critical. Remind me that I am not called to judge others, but to love them. Therefore, help me to find it in my heart to be forgiving and understanding, even when I do not want to do so. My deepest desire is to be as loving, and as forgiving as Your son, in whose name I pray. Amen.