Thursday, July 20, 2017


The news broke this week that OJ Simpson has been approved for parole.

Of course, the media, and people on social media, were all quick to remind us of his crimes and his failures as a person.

As I read some of these reactions I couldn't help but remember a verse in Micah 6:8 which says:

”(God) has shown you, O man, what is good, and what is required of you; to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Most of us have no problem with most of this. We understand that we need to do justice on behalf of the weak and the oppressed. We know that we need to walk in humility with God and our fellow man.

But that part about loving mercy? That's too much.

Why? Because to love mercy you need to rejoice when someone gets a blessing they really don't deserve.

Like OJ Simpson getting paroled this week.

Our problem isn't with mercy in general. Oh no. We all love mercy - as long as it is being showered down on us. That feels so good and it speaks so powerfully of God's love for us and His kindness to us just warms us from the inside out.

Mercy is awesome.

But, when someone who doesn't deserve mercy receives it, we tend to complain. We go on and on about how they don't deserve this. We wag our fingers and shake our heads and roll our eyes. 

Do they deserve such abundant favor and mercy from God? Of course not, and neither do we when we receive mercy. 

But, we're ok with mercy shown to us. So, why are we so upset when mercy gets shown to others?

Because deep inside we still think we deserve mercy and they don't. 

But is that true? No, it's not true. None of us "deserves" mercy. In fact, if any of us actually deserved mercy then the blessing wouldn't be called "mercy" it would be called "justice" because the blessing was deserved and giving it to us was simply making everything right again.

Mercy isn't about deserving anything. It is, in fact, about not deserving a damn thing, but getting blessed anyway.

If your son or daughter got into trouble with the law, or hooked on drugs, and then appeared before the Judge and was shown mercy and given a second chance, you might weep and praise God and shout "Halleluiah!"

But if you read a story in the newspaper or heard on the news about someone who broke the law, got caught holding drugs and then got a slap on the wrist in court, your reaction to that might be very different. Maybe you'd get angry. Maybe you'd even curse a little under your breath and complain about our shoddy justice system.

But if that was your son or daughter, you'd be on your knees thanking God for the mercy and grace poured out on your family.

We all love mercy as long as it's being showered down on us. But the Lord calls us to love mercy in general; to celebrate whenever anyone receives mercy, no matter who they are or what they've done.

Mercy means everyone gets another chance to get it right.

Mercy means rejoicing with those who rejoice, no matter who is rejoicing.

The only way we'll ever love mercy this way is if the Lord Jesus transforms us from the inside out. It will take a miracle of God to help us see through the eyes of Christ and celebrate whenever any one of His children receives a blessing they don't deserve.

Are you willing to submit to the Lord in this area? Are you willing to pray and ask Him to give you a heart like His that rejoices whenever someone is shown mercy?

Until we love like Jesus loves, we'll never love mercy.


1 comment:

Mick Smith said...

Good word Keith!!! xx