You may remember Mona Gregory’s challenge to us earlier last week on hearing but not acting on the Word. That post is still swirling around in my spirit.
Well, Mona joins us again today to speak into this whole thing about judgment and mercy. Seems that the Lord is really wanting to get our attention on this subject, huh? Molly Garibaldi used the exact same verses over the last couple of days and now here it is again….humm….are we listening?
“So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be merciless to the one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:12-13
As my son, Kit, and I headed toward the Wal-mart entrance, talking and laughing, our eyes were drawn to a shiny black Mustang turning into our lane. Just as we were nearing the crosswalk….BOOM!! We both spun around to see the back right end of the Mustang smashed by an old Chevy backing out of its space.
Stunned, Kit and I watched intently as the Mustang driver, obviously anxious and upset, quickly jumped out of the car and rushed around the back toward the Chevy driver slowly exiting his car.
As I read his lips, I turned to Kit, “Did you hear what he said?”
Shocked, we repeated the words aloud together, “Are you ok?” Wow!!
Given what happened and the fact that he exited his car so quickly, his response was not what I expected.
We learned later that he’d bought the new car three weeks prior; the paper tag was still taped to the back window. Because of damage to the back wheel, the Mustang was no longer drivable.
Once statements were taken and phone calls were made, we complimented the young man and his passenger on their merciful reaction. He responded, “I was just worried they were hurt; my car is replaceable.”
He was living and walking out “so speak and act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.” Jesus was the apple of his eye, not the shiny Mustang!
I wonder what my knee jerk reaction would have been.
James gives a warning here too: “For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy.”(James 2:13a)
God is not a pocket god to be used for our own benefit and private forgiveness, while refusing to extend forgiveness to another. If that’s how I live, judgment will be merciless to me who has shown no mercy.
Isn’t this the gospel?
Admittedly, there are times when I’d prefer to try to create who I want God to be….One that gives me mercy, but doesn’t require that of me. When I’m living that way, I only “think” I’m walking with Christ.
The law of liberty is incredible news and the Good news isn’t just for me.
Father, I pray that I would extend mercy as you have extended mercy to me. I pray that when I’m wronged, my first reaction would be to respond in love. And when it’s not, that You would bring me back to the Good News and remind me that it’s for all people not just me. In Your Name and for Your Glory, Amen