Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.
Luke 6:37 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
This instruction was given by Jesus, just after He delivered the beatitudes. It directly follows the command that we are to be merciful just as God is merciful. This thought shook basic Jewish tradition because according to Old Testament law there was to be an equal, corresponding punishment for every wrong action. Mercy had nothing to do with justice. People’s actions were based on what others did first. But Jesus changed that. Instead, we are to begin with mercy, and our actions are no longer dependant on what others do. We are to love and show mercy no matter what others have done to us. God will judge us based on our actions alone. So if we judge others, we will be judged by God. But if we do not judge, we will not be judged. The reason for this is that when we judge others (by this I mean looking down on others for what they have done, putting them down and building self up) we are putting ourselves in the place of God, making ourselves better than them. When we go outside of God’s law by doing this, we are putting ourselves in a different playing field, a field outside of God’s grace and mercy because we had no grace or mercy on others. In such a case, we will be judged by the measure with which we judged others. The trick is that we will always fall short. In the same way, if we don’t condemn others for their actions, we won’t be condemned for ours. If we pardon or forgive others we will be forgiven. Instead of everything being based on our circumstances, situations or treatment by others, it starts with us. We set up our court based on how we act. If we are merciful and forgiving, God will show mercy and forgiveness to us, but if we are not, He will not. We need to imitate God, and He is infinitely merciful and forgiving. Reflect His love!