"Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven" (Lk. 6:37 NRSV).
Exploring the concept of forgiveness as it relates to wholeness.
This statement is from what is known as The Sermon on the Plain, Luke's version of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. Many of the teachings are identical, with occasional differences in wording or emphasis. The differences can be interesting, since Matthew was written from a Jewish perspective and Luke from a more universal perspective.
I think what's important in these two sentences is the clear and absolute quality of the statements. There's a definite cause and effect working here. It's not “Do not judge and as a reward God will cut you some slack and refrain from judging you.” It's strong, simple, clear and unequivocal. It suggests that judgment and condemnation do not come from God in the first place. They are human consequences of human choices. What causes us to feel judged or condemned – the only thing that causes us to feel judged or condemned – is our own tendency to judge and condemn others. If we stop judging and condemning, we will immediately stop the rebound effect that brings back onto us the same energies we direct toward others. The same holds true for forgiveness. If we hold grudges and resentments, we will absolutely feel their negative energies in our own lives. If we want to feel less guilty ourselves, we must start by freeing all others from our own guilty verdicts.