The reading from today’s well-loved Jesus Calling was good. The Bible verses that went with it were better, especially Luke 6:37-38.
“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.” -Jesus
The note in my study Bible for verse 38 read, “poured into your lap. Probably refers to the way the outer garment was worn, leaving a fold over the belt that could be used as a large pocket to hold a measure of wheat.”
What Jesus is saying is that the measure you use to judge and condemn is the same measure that will be given to you. Likewise, the measure you use to forgive and give is the same measure that will be used for you. So how big is your pocket? Is your pocket small? Do you have a small pocket of tolerance for others? Do you give small amounts of forgiveness? When you are called upon to give, do you give just enough to say you did? Or do you give generously? We want our pockets to be large. A large pocket allows God to pass judgment and condemn. It forgives and keeps on forgiving. It gives as much as it is able, with a willing heart. When we live our lives with a large pocket, it is a blessing to others. However, it also comes back to be a blessing for us, “For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
I am living a practical example of this right now. Three weeks ago, my oldest child got her driving permit. The first time I got in the car with her behind the wheel while I was in the passenger seat was a surreal experience. Thankfully, she is cautious and teachable. However, she is still a beginner, and people aren’t always very patient with her cautious and slow ways. People have zoomed past her, giving dirty looks or made gestures when they pull up behind her at a stop. Because there is no sign on her bumper that says, “Student Driver” they assume she is as experienced as they are and their pocket isn’t very large.
Unfortunately, I’m not any better. Just last week, I pulled up behind the car that she and her classmates take their driving lessons in.
The driver was very slow and cautious and as I was waiting for them to go from stopping at a red light to going at the green, I was getting a little bent out of shape. AND I KNEW THEY WERE A STUDENT DRIVER! I had to remind myself to calm down and show a little patience and grace. My pocket wasn’t very big. How many times in life do we have a small pocket for others? We don’t allow them room to be new or inexperienced; especially if it is something we have known or had maturity in for years. Thankfully, I quickly caught myself, and had a change of heart, asking the Lord to give me grace for student drivers and for others to give my daughter grace as well.
Jesus, make our pockets grow larger and larger. May we not be satisfied until we are filled with as much grace as you have shown to us.
Your Friend in Ministry,