“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 and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” - Luke 6:37-38
As Colossians 3:13 says, we need to forgive others just as God in Christ forgave us. Thus, the measure that God has extended to us is the measure we should use to others. However, Jesus also tells us that the way in which we treat others will be come back around to us, both good and bad.
The story of the wicked servant in Matthew 18:21-35 illustrates both the principle that we should do unto others what God has done unto us, and that the measure we use will be measured to us. In the story, the king forgives a huge debt owed him by one of his servants. Yet, this same servant turns around and refuses to forgive one of his own debtors who owed him a much smaller sum. When the king hears about this turn of events he throws the servant in prison until he paid back all he owed. The scripture says, “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” The servant did not extend the same measure of mercy to others as God had extended to him. And, the measure he used against his debtor was measured against him.
Just as the law of gravity is as reliable as the sun rising each morning, so is the spiritual law of “the measure you use will be measured to you.” In dealing with others “what measure do you use”? The way we treat others will come back to us. If we are kind, forgiving, and merciful, then the same will come back to us. If we are harsh, critical, and rude the same will be “measured” back to us. Because God is “just,” he will not allow us to get away with treating others badly after we have received so much mercy at his hand. On the other hand, just as we receive mercy at God's hand, there is great reward in extending this “measure of mercy” to others. As Luke says, what will come back to us is a good measure, pressed down, and running over!