The only way human relationships, and thus a society, can survive, and thrive, is by showing each other mercy.
Mercy defined: Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.
Do you remember playing “Mercy” when you were a kid? You would stand face to face with a friend, interlock your fingers, then try to bend one another’s wrists backwards until one party cried, “Mercy!”
In our world right now, this is no game, and few are showing mercy – only judgement.
The problem with this is that we all deserve judgment for our sins and mistakes, therefore, if we do not show mercy, we are going to destroy one another.
Judgement defined: Retributive justice by which the destiny of people is decided according to their merits and demerits.
Think about what Jesus said to the judgers who brought a woman to Him who was caught committing adultery, “You who are without sin throw the first stone.” (John 8)
This is serious business. Not only because we will destroy one another, but also because Jesus also plainly said that those who judge others will receive the exact same measure of judgment in their own lives. (Matthew 7:1-6).
It is an inescapable spiritual law, like the law of gravity. If you jump off a tall building you are going to hit the ground hard. If you judge others, you are going to be judged yourself.
That is why James said this:
“Because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:13
Mercy triumphs over judgement.
What does that mean? It means that in God’s economy, when there is a choice between mercy and judgement, God chooses mercy. Aren’t you glad?
However, notice the first part of that verse. It is reminiscent of what Jesus said – we will get back what we give out.
That is why it is imperative that a Christian shows mercy, because God has shown us immeasurable mercy. In fact, it is a miscarriage of justice for a follower of Jesus to judge anyone, and there are severe consequences for those who do so. (Matthew 18:21-35)
Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7
You just cannot get away from it.
As long as the world is going to continue to judge on another, digging up dirt on each other, and even reinterpreting honest mistakes as heinous crimes (what if that was done to you), we are never going to heal.
But Jesus does not expect mercy from the world. The world is what Jesus calls, “Lost”. However, He expects it of His Church. In fact, He commands it. We…cannot…judge.
What are we supposed to do? Release heaven on earth. And this closing Scripture makes heaven’s message crystal clear:
“And we have come to Jesus who established a new covenant with his blood sprinkled upon the mercy seat; blood that continues to speak from heaven, “forgiveness,” a better message than Abel’s blood that cries from the earth, “vengeance!” Hebrews 12:24
Is there injustice in the earth? Of course. Fallen humans live down here. Do injustices need to be made right. Absolutely, when at all possible. However, judgement, vengeance and retribution are different things altogether. These are what tear us apart.
What we need in this day and hour is mercy, and lots of it!
Q. Are you showing more mercy or judgment?
Q. What do you think about what Jesus said, that if you judge others, you will be judged?