“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6:37,38)
There is a law in the world of men: you get what you give. Show respect, receive respect. Look down on others, have others look down on you. We do good to our own soul when we’re gracious and merciful toward others. We hurt our own cause when we’re mean-spirited. “The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.” (Prov. 11:17)
A kind man is attractive. “What is desirable in a man is his kindness” (Prov. 19:22). We win or lose favor in the eyes of both the great and the small by what comes out of our mouth. “Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.” (Prov. 16:13) King David warned us how we could make our own lives a lot more pleasant. “What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.” (Ps. 34:12,13)
Our tongue is connected to our heart. A gracious tongue belongs to a gracious heart. Bitter words flow from a bitter fountain. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” (Luke 6:45) Our words are the barometer of our heart.
Every tree is known by its fruit. Do you want to be known as a good man? A kind man? A gracious man? Or do you want your name to stink among those who know you? We are known by the fruit of our lips. None of us are naturally good or kind or merciful. The manifestation of evil fruit in our life is a sign that we are not connected to the Vine.
God will use the rod of men to correct our backsliding. Before we eat of the fruit of our own way, it is best we return to the Lord. He will make us what we are not. He will replace our ugliness with His beauty. And we will find favor with both God and man.