I’ve probably listened to it a least a hundred times.
You don’t tug on Superman’s cape
You don’t spit into the wind
You don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger
And you don’t mess around with Jim
Jim Croce’s lyrics to “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” remind us there’s some things we just don’t do because we get something back just as bad or worse! It’s automatic. It’s going to happen. So just don’t do it!
Have you pondered or worse yet, experienced, spitting into the wind? Yuk!
“What goes around comes around.” “When you point at someone, three fingers are pointing back at you!”
When I read today’s verses, I immediately had the above thoughts!
I memorized Luke 6:38 a long time ago, but had not associated it with the previous verse.
Reciprocal means “given, felt, or done in return.” Jesus gives us four actions which bring reciprocal actions:
Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:37-38 ESV)
The first two are negative and the other two are positive:
1. If we don’t judge people, we won’t be judged.
2. If we don’t condemn people, we won’t be condemned.
3. If we forgive people, we will be forgiven.
4. If we give, it will be given back with the same measure we used.
And by implication the opposites are true too.
1. If we judge, we will be judged by the same standard.
2. If we condemn, we will also be condemned.
3. If we don’t forgive, neither will we be forgiven.
4. If we don’t give, we don’t receive the blessing.
Our actions have automatic consequences built-in by God. It is how He made us! We can count on it.
Well, of course, this is obvious, duh! But the evil one’s greatest power is deception. We all live with some degree of self-deception that somehow our actions don’t have reciprocal reactions.
It is easy to judge the world for this obvious blind spot, but we need to judge ourselves first.
If we are judging and condemning in our attitudes and actions, then its like spitting into the wind, it will come back to greet us rudely.
But if we’re forgiving and giving, then it will return to us with great blessings from God.
Our Father, forgive us for our judging and condemning. Please heal us of the reciprocal consequences we’ve brought on ourselves. We commit today to give and forgive, generously . Thank-you that You will forgive and give generously back to us.