The Gospel of Luke | Do’s and Do Nots | Luke 6.37-38 |

by | Mar 10, 2021

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6.37-38

Growing up I had a set of “do’s” and ”do nots” that my mother and father would implore upon me. They were guidelines that helped me grow up to be pretty healthy, stable and secure. “Clean your room, do your homework, go to school, read your Bible, brush your teeth, do your chores.” These ”do’s” included moral, ethical, practical, physical and spiritual behaviors that would lead to my emotional and mature development. However, instruction didn’t only come only from my parents, but teachers, church leaders, pastors, grandparents and neighbors as well. They were a healthy set of boundaries that kept me in sync with society and hopefully God’s purposes for my life.

The “do not’s” were lessons that were intended for my good as well as the wellbeing of those around me. “Do not hit your sister. Do not say bad words. Do not be mean to people. Do not show disrespect to your parents or adults. Do not break the law.” Again, these were acceptable communal norms which came from inside and outside the home. Sociologists call these informal rules or social norms. Those who adjust to society live by them, whereas those who are unable to follow these rules typically end up ostracized, isolated or in prison.

So why am I telling you all of this? I think Jesus’ list of “do and do nots” in these few verses, and in the broader reach of the six hundred and thirteen Laws of Moses, were God’s intentions for humans to live in peace and prosperity together and with Him. In vs.37-38, Jesus gives us two “do nots” —- do not judge, do not condemn — and two “do’s” — forgive and give.”

”Do not judge and do not condemn.” Some scholars have translated “judge” as to criticize or look down upon. The idea of judging as discerning can actually be very helpful but not so much with condemning. I picture Jesus teaching while siting across from the religious elite, dressed in their finest robes, arms crossed, and scowls on their faces. Instead of Jesus saying, “do not judge or condemn,” he doesn’t mean that we don’t have morals and standards, but perhaps to “be kind.” We are always called to exhibit this fruit of the spirit, kindness, while not accepting misbehavior or sin.

The two “do’s” include forgiving others, so you will be forgiven, and give to those in need and it will be given back to you. Forgiveness and generosity stem from an attitude of love. And as Pauls says in Galatians 5:23 in regard to the fruit of the Spirit, “Against these things there is no law.”

“Do’s and do nots” lead not only to our own blessing but to the blessings of others. Jesus was merely re-teaching the Godly behaviors of love would we now call Christlikeness, and which were in existence since the beginning of God through the divine nature of God himself.

So today, be kind, be loving, be generous. Live within the bounds of Scripture, run from sin, and uphold the Word of God. And when you do, you will receive an inheritance in heaven unlike anything you’ve experienced on earth.

“O Lord God, you are good. Thank you for your faithfulness and for the power of your grace in my life. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your love and peace. Help me walk in step with you and adhere to your plans for my life. I love you Lord and praise your name. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen