Life-Study of Matthewby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
We come now to the sixth section of the new King’s decree on the mountain, 7:1-12.
Apparently, the Lord’s intention in 7:1-12 is to cover the principles according to which the kingdom people deal with others. Actually, His intention here is to encourage us to forget ourselves and to take care of others. In the two previous chapters, the Lord has dug out our temper, our lusts, our inner being, the self, the flesh, and our anxiety. Now He brings us to the point where we must learn to take care of others. When you judge others, you must judge them according to how you want them to judge you. To consider the matter in this way is to take care of others.
The heavenly ruling over the kingdom people requires that they take care of others. Although a number of negative points were touched in chapters five and six, the matter of taking care of others is not covered until chapter seven. In whatever we do, we must think about others. We have a real lack in this area, because in our natural life we do not consider others. From beginning to end, we only consider ourselves. Our thinking and our consideration are wrapped up with ourselves. Therefore, we are always centered around ourselves and never consider others. I would ask you to recall the way you lived in the past. Was it your practice to consider others? If we consider others when we are about to criticize or judge them, we shall neither criticize nor judge. The reason we judge others and criticize them is that we do not care for them. If we cared for others, we would sympathize with them.
In 7:1 the Lord said, “Do not judge, lest you be judged.” The kingdom people, living in a humble spirit under the heavenly ruling of the kingdom, always judge themselves, not others. The Lord’s word about not judging lest we be judged does not seem to be a word about taking care of others. However, when we probe into this word, we see that it actually means to take care of others. When you are about to judge others, instead you must take care of them.
Let us seek to find out the secret of this word about not judging. How can we tell that the real meaning here is to take care of others? Are you afraid of being judged? If you are, then you should realize that others are also afraid of being judged. Do you feel bad about being judged by others? If you do, then you should know that others also feel bad about being judged by you. No one likes to be judged. If you do not like to be judged, then what about others? You need to take care of them. If you do not like to be judged by others, why do you judge other people? If you are afraid of being judged, then you must consider others, who also are afraid of being judged. Always take care of others.
Verse 2 says, “For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged; and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you.” Under the heavenly ruling of the kingdom, the kingdom people will be judged with what they judge. If they judge others with righteousness, they will be judged by the Lord with righteousness. If they judge others with mercy, they will be judged by the Lord with mercy. Mercy boasts against judgment (James 2:13, Gk.). Do not judge others so much, for you will be judged in the same degree that you judge others. If you take care of others, you will not be judged by them.
Verse 2 says that with what measure we mete, it shall be measured to us. The principle here is the same as with judgment. Apparently, in these verses the Lord does not charge us to take care of others; actually, however, these verses mean that we must take care of others. Are you afraid of being measured by others? If so, then you must take care of others, for they also are afraid of being measured by you. If you take care of others, you will not judge them, criticize them, or measure them.
In the past I knew a certain group of Christians who talked a great deal about spirituality. In a sense, their talk was genuine. However, this group had one weak point: it was the practice of measuring others. It seemed that everyone in this group had a little scale in his pocket. Whenever they invited you to tea, they measured you with their invisible scale. Later they would come together to talk about you. Some would ask, “Have you found out where he is?” This means, “Have you measured him?” I also learned that this group did not care at all for the feelings of others; they cared only for their practice of measuring others. Their measuring was actually their criticizing and their judging. I would take this opportunity to encourage you not to measure others. Do not try to determine how spiritual others are, how much growth they have, or what is their condition in life. If you refrain from measuring others, you will be kept from criticizing them and judging them. This is based on the principle of taking care of others.
Those in the group to which I just referred had a difficult time helping others. The reason they could not help others was that the others were under their measurement, judgment, and criticism. In helping others, we must be blind. If you want to help others in the church life, you need to be blind. If you would be a good husband or wife, be blind in taking care of your spouse. Do not measure, judge, or criticize. Do not have any measurement of others. This is a way of showing mercy toward them. If you show mercy toward others, you will receive mercy. But if you measure others without mercy, then you will also be measured without mercy. With what measurement you mete, it will be measured to you.
Mercy does not do any measuring. This means that mercy imposes no requirements. Anything that requires a measurement is not mercy. Mercy does not know mathematics; it does not know how to add or subtract. Mercy is absolutely blind. Why do you treat me so well when I am so pitiful? It is because you are merciful toward me.
Sometimes, by the Lord’s mercy, I have been merciful toward others. Afterwards some of my children, whose eyes were so clear about the situation, said to me, “Daddy, don’t you know how poor this person is? Why were you so good to him?” I was good to him because I was blind. My children, however, were very clear-sighted. But those who are so clear-sighted cannot be merciful. If you would be merciful, you must be like Isaac, who blessed Jacob in a blind way. Likewise, we, the kingdom people, must be blind in dealing with others. If so, we shall be merciful to them and always take care of them. Whenever my children asked me why I was kind to those who did not deserve kindness, I answered, “You don’t know what I am doing. Your eyes are too big and clear. Why did I treat him that way? It was because I was considerate of him.” This is the principle of the kingdom people in dealing with others. For us to deal with others, we must consider them, sympathize with them, and be merciful toward them. The kingdom people must take care of others in their dealings with them.
If you read these verses again and again, you will see that the basic principle hidden here is that we must forget ourselves and take care of others. Do you know why you criticize others and judge them? It is because you think of yourself too much. You neglect the feelings of others and do not care for them. You care only for your feeling. Hence, you judge and criticize others. Therefore, if we would be kept from judging others, we must take care of them. This requires that we forget ourselves and consider others. If we center around ourselves and ignore the feelings of others, we shall criticize them. But if we take care of others, we shall not judge them.
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