Brothers | Weight Lifters | Mercy
For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:13)
“I will NOT forgive her!” “They don’t deserve forgiveness after what they did!” “I hope the judge buries that jerk under the courthouse!” Statements like those feel justified when we’ve been wronged. The unthinkable happened and we feel helpless, so it is natural to demand righteous judgment. We know that God is a just God and that every sin will be punished fully, so we think our judgment helps Him get a start on it. Our sense of justice comes from our Creator, so it’s good. But this verse tells us that there is something greater than justice, more powerful, more life-altering, and more eternal than judgment. It is mercy.
But mercy does NOT mean justice should never happen. Because God is just, His nature will not allow wickedness to prevail. Sin will always be judged. ALWAYS! Every sin will be fully punished far more severely than we could do it. And that’s the point of this verse. Because God will punish sin, we don’t need to help Him by judging ahead of time. He already judged our sin by punishing Jesus for it. God’s justice was fully satisfied at the cross for whoever trusts in Christ. Though we deserve judgment, when we repent, God shows mercy. That is the mercy He asks us to extend to other flawed people. Christians have the greatest reason to show mercy to others because God models it for us. Judgment comes naturally; mercy is a decision.
Final Thought: If you’ve received mercy from God, are you extending that mercy to other flawed human beings?
Prayer: Father, there are some people I have a hard time showing mercy to. You know what they’ve done, what they keep doing. They deserve your judgment, but I do too. Help me show them mercy as you’ve shown it to me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.