A Glimpse of an Ethical Life
“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, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” –Jesus, Renowned Teacher, Spiritualist, Saviour, Healer, Peace Maker, Justice Seeker, Child of God
Jesus has taught us well. He was a wisdom teacher. Wisdom in the Bible has a wide range of meanings. It can be about the technical skill of artisans, the art of government (needed today!), simple cleverness, coping with life’s stresses, seeing life’s opportunities, and the pursuit of ethical conduct. Most often the ways of wisdom challenge and push us beyond our comfort zones. Certainly, the above quote from Jesus makes me question much about life, forgiveness, judgment calls, generosity, and something falling into my lap! A “good measure” at that!
The saying is taken from Luke chapter 6. It follows after his teaching about loving one’s enemies. Interesting that some commentators refer to this section as “avoiding violence.” That certainly brings forgiveness and not judging into a sharper focus. But what about giving?
Generosity, big-heartedness, and kindness are key if violence is to be avoided and forgiveness offered.
So what drops? What falls into your lap? Could it be peace? Joy? Gratitude? Healthy relations? What is “pressed down, shaken together, and running over” in your life? Consider if what you have is representative of how you live.
This is ethical instruction and promise for living. Ethical living is about many things. Let me for a moment turn your attention to the use of financial resources. An article I read recently was musing as to rather or not the billionaires could “fix “the economy. One billionaire said something to the effect that the system that created their wealth doesn’t work anymore. Well, Duh! They have all the money. People from all economic backgrounds, however, seek to do good with what financial resources they have – feed and support themselves and their families, have some pleasure and leisure opportunities, and support worthy causes. For the many who contribute to support non-profit charitable organizations – Thank you!
Deer Park and St. Andrew’s United Church has sought to open other opportunities for giving with the “Big Picture,” The Heebee Jeebees’ Concert, COOP Gift Cards, and other ideas for raising funds to support our ministries. The response has been most appreciated.
Then there is the push for “Catch the Light.” This is ethical. We will lessen our carbon footprint and lessen the monthly and annual cost of electricity with the installation of solar panels. A witness will be made that we care for the environment and for all creatures great and small. Joy comes with this as it does with all our ministries.
We are making a difference. We are helping others. We are supporting each other. We are building community. We are praising God and offering gratitude. We are living in abundance. We are embraced in love and embracing love.
Please share your stories, your thoughts, and your concerns. We want to know what works and what doesn’t. There is wisdom in our sharing. There are challenges and opportunities that we face, and with all working together we are strong. A good measure has been and will be given to us. It is what happens when we give – when we are kind – when we are big-hearted.