Monday, November 22, 2010

I Desire Mercy

Matthew 12:7
If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy not sacrifice.’ You would not have condemned the innocent.

Why is it that we want justice for others but mercy for ourselves? It’s so easy to wish wrath on others when there is a perceived offense without backing up to see if mercy is needed. I’m glad God is not like man because if he was we would all be dead by now. Justice demanded that I would die, but Mercy said, “No!”

Jesus had to teach this to the Pharisees when they were criticizing his disciples for picking grain on the Sabbath because they were hungry. The disciples of Jesus had offended the religious Pharisees because they broke the rules but Jesus knew his disciples through relationship. He knew they weren’t bad men they were just hungry. There hearts were right they were just hungry on the Sabbath. We are so quick to condemn people without knowing where their hearts are. More than getting the rules right God wants our hearts right.

It doesn’t mean that we disregard the rules but it does mean that we put mercy before sacrifice. If we get all the rules right but don’t have any love and compassion to go along with it then we are just mean religious people who are good at making sacrifices but poor in building relationships. In this life people are going to miss it every now and then and you have to show mercy before you condemn them. The next time someone offends you do the following:

Get al the facts before you jump to conclusions. What were they hungry for? What’s missing in their lives that they felt like they had to break the rules?
Find out where their heart and mind are. When a person messes up doesn’t mean that they don’t love Jesus. Peter loved Jesus more than anybody but still denied him at a crucial time. Jesus saw he had the right heart but didn’t do the right thing. He loved him back to life.

Treat others as though you were the one who committed the offense. How would you want to be treated if it were you?

Dear God, forgive me for being heavy on Justice and light on mercy. Forgive me for being a repeat offender. I am in need of mercy. Help me to live my life so that I neither offend or condemn but Love.

In Jesus Name,

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