Lord, have mercy
Am I living in the reality of the justice and mercy that has been extended to me through Jesus?
I am the middle child of two sisters and a brother. If I told you we didn’t always get along would you believe me? Now, I am understandably biased but I was normally in the right…Okay, I was always convinced I was in the right. Whether we were arguing about who got to sit in the front seat, who got to choose what we watched on TV, or who was in charge when mom and dad weren’t home—the thing I claimed the most was fairness. “That’s not fair!” I would scream as my younger sister got to sit in the front seat because she “called it faster”. I felt as though justice needed to be served.
As much as I wish I could tell you that I grew out of that and I no longer think or act as I did when I was a child, my life does not reflect that. I find myself constantly annoyed or angry with people who, in the simplest terms, don’t give me my way. My idea of justice is most often self-serving. And well, it isn’t justice.
As a kid and still today I find myself more concerned with fairness than justice and definitely more than mercy. I don’t know if you have had these arguments or you struggle with these frustrations but I do know that God is not very much like me and that is really good news.
God is merciful AND just. He tells the truth always AND loves us unconditionally. He sacrifices himself for sinners like me AND asks us to join him in holiness. How can this be? It is hard for me to understand because my practice of justice and mercy tends to be extremely conditional. But God will always bring about justice through the reign and rule of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. And his justice is full to the brim of mercy.
And that is the part that I always forget: God ushered in his justice with mercy. When I want justice, my example is Jesus. And his example is mercy. These commands of Micah 6 are not three random commands strung together. God sees justice and mercy as inseparable characteristics of Himself and therefore inseparable characteristics of those who profess him as Lord and Savior.
And so, I have been asking myself some questions lately that I want to extend to you. Do you see mercy and justice as compatible? When someone wrongs you, what does it look like to act justly and love mercy? Are there people in my life that I am withholding mercy from? Am I living in the reality of the justice and mercy that has been extended to me through Jesus?
He has truly shown you, O mortal, what is good. And it looks like Jesus.