There are quotes that people throw around believing they are from the Word of God. “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” or “God helps those who help themselves”. While these may sound like something from Scripture, especially if we say them with enough piety, they are nowhere to be found in the Bible. But there is a quote that people have referred to as the golden rule. It says, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”
Is that one from the Bible?
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 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 6:27-38
Jesus gave us directives. We are to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who abuse us. Easy enough words to write or say, not so easy to do.
When someone hurts us, our natural inclination is to hurt back, get even. We somehow want the books to balance.
But if that is out goal, we need to look at our own ledger book. Every day, every hour, we sin. We are sinners and each moment we add more to that day’s sheet. When we come to Jesus and ask His forgiveness, He offers it. He doesn’t hold our sin over our head and say, “How could you do that?” or “You’ll pay for even thinking that.” He offers forgiveness, freely.
In Romans 6:23 we are told that eternal life is a free gift that comes through Jesus.
But this also means that we must extend that same forgiveness to others. Jesus took our ledger book that was filled to the brim with sins and He wiped it clean. He balances the books when He declares, “Paid in full.”
Because we have been forgiven, we must forgive others.
Luke 6:37-38 gives us a great picture. Which measure are we using? When it comes to condemnation is it big? Because if that’s the case then that same measure will be used for us.
But if we use a huge measure when it comes to forgiveness of others, then that will be the measure for our forgiveness. In fact, Jesus then presses it down, shakes it together to make even more room and gives so much that it is literally running over.