I was reading something today that brought up the issue of mercy.
My mind left the story to ponder the question “What is mercy?”
I’m sure I don’t have a comprehensive grasp of the answer…
but this is what is revealed to me:
Mercy is not an ignoring of justice. Mercy is love in action.
Mercy doesn’t flippantly say, “oh, it’s okay, don’t worry about it.”
Mercy says, “Yes, what you did was wrong…
but I forgive you because I love you.”
Mercy doesn’t minimize sin…it maximizes love.
Mercy also brings with it an expectation of repentance…a “turning away” from the transgression that caused the breach in the relationship.
Minimizing sin only invites the sin to continue.
Acknowledging the transgression for what it is…offering forgiveness for it…and expecting that sin to stop…this is mercy.
As a parent…it’s been difficult to know how to balance love and justice.
Some examples I’ve seen have applied love…but forgotten justice…and the imbalance breeds rampant disregard for the sin which will destroy.
Other examples I have seen have sought justice to the extent that love seems absent. This imbalance breeds a rebellious disregard for sin. Without love, why bother avoiding the sin that destroys the relationship?
But God is wiser…His love is complete.
He knows how to balance love and justice.
Mercy doesn’t ignore the truth of the matter…instead, it breeds a desire to want to do what is necessary to heal the relationship that was
harmed because of the sin.
Oh that I would be more pliable to learn His ways!
*Father please teach me*
“He who conceals his sins does not prosper,
but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
“Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.”
“In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them;
he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.”
“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God
rather than burnt offerings.”
“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever
but delight to show mercy.
You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”
“This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice;
show mercy and compassion to one another.
Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor.
In your hearts do not think evil of each other.’”
“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”