Over at the Catholic Weekly, I write:
One spiritual principle that is important to grasp is that the measure you use will be measured to you (Matthew 7:2). We see it illustrated in the gospel in several ways. Jesus, for instance, says:
“That servant who knew his master’s will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating. But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.” (Luke 12:47-48)
The warning of the gospel is that the more you claim to be a “Real Christian”[TM], the more responsible you are to obey him without deflecting to somebody else’s behaviour in order to blame-shift. All finger-pointing at others receives the reply Jesus gave to Peter when he tried to pry into the Lord’s plans for John: “What is that to you? Follow me!” (John 21:22).
This is why Jesus adjusts his approach to people, depending on their approach to him. For instance, in Mark 12 he meets three different sorts of people.
The first are cunning predators, seeking to trap Jesus with their questions about Roman taxes so that they can accuse him. The second are Sadducees who want to show the upstart who rules the theological roost in a debate about the Resurrection, which they reject. The third is an honest seeker of truth.
What happens next and what difference does it make to us? Go here and find out!
Words to live by, thank you. “Judge not lest you be…” Scary.
Yesterday I was reading about thieves that are boldly using power tools in our neighborhoods to steal catalytic converters from cars right outside of the owners’ homes. They will shoot at you if you make a peep. My knee jerk reaction is to think “scum!” or “trash!”but the last 10 years or so of reading your reflections on Jesus and his response to sinners has helped me a lot to rethink my judgement and modify my outrage.
I still have a problem with hating corporate theft though. They might not be crawling under cars using power tools, but they are more shameful about being shameless. It’s like “One Nation, under God…” should be changed to “One Nation under the Almighty dollar…” but the petty thieves are trying to survive in a brutal system, not afford the country club.
I never would have tried to give bold thieves the benefit of the doubt before, (and they haven’t stolen my catalytic converter yet…). so we’ll see how it goes.
The holy rollers generally don’t tempt me that much anymore because they’ve been duped and that’s pretty scary.