Thursday, March 19, 2015

100 Days on Jesus’ Sermon Mount (Day 70)

Jesus said, “For you will be judged by the same criteria you use to judge others, and by the same measure you measure out to others, it will be measured out to you.”
— Matthew 7:2 (USC)
Boomerangs of Australia are the indigenous’ weapon for striking a small animal from a distance in order to achieve one’s sustenance out in the bush. Of course, there are more favoured tools these days.
The Australian boomerang returns to its owner when it’s thrown properly when it misses, but the object of the boomerang is to hit so it can kill its prey.
So it is with judgment against another. It is a weapon of criticism, of humiliation, of condemnation, and of no care whatsoever. It is thrown and it either hits the target, not returning to its owner (directly), or it’s thrown and it misses the target and comes back — to strike the owner.
The boomerang of judgment is a scandalous tool.
It has no insight, and no revelation of God, as to the damage it will cause. Connected with such a situation is a lack of care or concern for that very fact; indeed, to ‘murder’ in such a way (recall Matthew 5:22) is to bring its own curse, like a boomerang, upon its owner.
Justice sees to it that the perpetrator of violence is judged according to God’s eventual timing. And we should fear that judgment for them. God’s judgment strikes harder than any human judgment. So, why would we feel compelled to judge?
Whether the boomerang of our criticism, condemnation, humiliation, or lack of care hits or not is beside the point. We are culpable of sending out a murder. Once that boomerang is sent, that self-same justice we have exacted over another becomes the judgment we choose for ourselves. God might say, “Okay, according to your will!”
We ought to stand in respect of the judgments of God, and fear to go anywhere near them. If a person is to suffer God’s wrath, we should not want to be anywhere close by. It is between them and their God.
When our human failings are on a billboard for all to see we know the cruelty in judgment.
Nobody likes to be attacked. If we would attack we should only expect to be attacked. The boomerang of the Lord’s justice is on its way. What is thrown inaccurately must return.
Like a boomerang returns, so does the force of attack, because force is always an inaccurate throw.
Attacks thrown inaccurately are likely to induce trauma because our anger is rarely tempered with loving truth.
Would we ever wish ourselves or our loved ones be on the receiving end of such trauma?
1.     How have you been judged unfairly in the past? Have you gotten over it? Does it still plague you in some way today? In what way has it caused you trauma?
2.     When you are tempted to judge (criticise or condemn) someone, what does it feel like inside? Is there a sense of God’s justice extended in the very act?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.
Note: USC version is Under the Southern Cross, The New Testament in Australian English (2014). This translation was painstakingly developed by Dr. Richard Moore, a NT Greek scholar, over nearly thirty years.

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