“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.” (Luke 6: 37-38)


I am looking for work. I am learning to pray about it the way Unity people pray. So I was given this Scripture in connection with my prayers. I do all I can to find employment. I do my best when I am in a job. What else could this mean in relation to my prayers?


This passage 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 here is the clear and absolute quality of the statements. There’s a definite cause and effect at work. 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.

The same rule applies to our giving. Nothing is being withheld by God. Our infinite abundance is always available. So praying out of a sense of lack does not accomplish our purpose. If we express abundance by finding opportunities to give—time, talent, treasure, whatever we feel we want to experience—we initiate the flow of universal abundance into and through our lives in ways that will astonish us.

Nothing is more challenging to our sense of spiritual empowerment than looking for work. It takes extra effort to move through this experience in an energy of gratitude and faith, to look beyond what may appear to be dwindling resources and limited opportunities and joyfully claim that God is at work in the process. Let that joy guide you to ways in which you can contribute, and your own resources will begin to grow dramatically. It’s the most basic spiritual law governing this human experience: If we focus on fear, we create more fear. If we focus on love and abundance, the universe responds in kind.


Rev. Ed


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