We are in trying times. Divisive times. Perhaps this is one of the greatest times for mercy to arise in the body of Christ.
James 2:13 (ESV) For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
But in the midst of all of this, those that ought to be most merciful, seem to be the most judgmental. So much so that I was sharing with my wife, Tina, how punitive so many were.
Mercy, in a nutshell, is not getting what you deserve. Avoiding punishment.
Yet, so many who have received so much, including the mercy of the Lord, are upset when someone does not get what “they” feel the person or people deserve. My observation has been over the last few weeks that many who profess mercy, even carrying a mercy gift mix are crying out for punitive measures. Even becoming disappointed when the justice they believe out to have been meted out, is not.
Yes, this is “an examine your heart” moment.
People who function in what we might describe as a mercy gift, often read a person, sensing their pain and are able to help. They often find the person or people who are distressed, hurting. They love the unloveable. They are a needed and desired gift in the Kingdom and in the church.
I love them.
Yet, lately, I have seen the other side. The immaturity. The hardness when things do not go the way they think it should. For instance, the person receiving from them does not do what they think is right or appropriate.
The rescuing of those not in need of being rescued. (Sometimes life is just…life.) The avoidance of conflict causes issues of emotional pain and hurt.
More and more, I have witnessed harshness and impatience. (Neither what Galatians 5 would call a “fruit of the Spirit.”) Some have lost their ability to “suffer long”.
I approach this as a fellow sojourner. One who has read the “sermon on the mount” and found myself lacking. I, who was the prodigal AND the elder brother.
We need mercy. Certainly, that is not all we need, but it is a significant peace.
We may well be the New Covenant description of the mercy seat of old. For within us, is the God of the universe. Seated on the throne. The Lamb who was slain, FROM the foundations of time.
It is time to become the vessels of mercy that the Lord saw fit to send into the world.
Mercy we receive. Mercy we cry. Mercy we give.