Mercy overcomes judgment

I am amazed at how things seem to reinforce one another lately. I believe you have experienced this before. A single truth keeps reappearing again and again in a relatively short time. It is like hearing echoes, whereby the same voice is emphasized, one echo by another. The truth that keeps coming back lately is ‘mercy overcomes judgment.’

My friends and I were discussing about last week’s sermon yesterday. My pastor was saying that if we only know judging and finding other people’s faults, we have to remember were God to do the same, we would have been condemned. We are saved because of God’s mercy. He has forgiven our sins. This should lead us not to judge others, but to have mercy on others, to love them. My friend also said, “When I see others, and I see flaws in them, I am actually seeing myself. I am no different.”

Then this morning I read from My Utmost for His Highest:

… the one who criticizes another is guilty of the very same thing. God looks not only at the act itself, but also at the possibility of committing it, which He sees by looking at our hearts. … do we really believe the statement that says we criticize in others the very things we are guilty of ourselves? The reason we see hypocrisy, deceit, and a lack of genuineness in others is that they are all in our own hearts. The greatest characteristic of a saint is humility, as evidenced by being able to say honestly and humbly, “Yes, all those, as well as other evils, would have been exhibited in me if it were not for the grace of God. Therefore, I have no right to judge.” … Who of us would dare to stand before God and say, “My God, judge me as I have judged others”? We have judged others as sinners–if God should judge us in the same way, we would be condemned to hell. Yet God judges us on the basis of the miraculous atonement by the Cross of Christ.

And then when I was on my way to school I read from The Gospel in a Pluralist Society:

The Christian congregation meets as a community that acknowledges that it lives by the amazing grace of a boundless kindness. Contemporary society speaks much about “human rights.” It is uncomfortable with “charity” as something which falls short of “justice,” and connects the giving of thanks with an unacceptable subservience. In Christian worship the language of rights is out of place except when it serves to remind us of the rights of others. For ourselves we confess that we cannot speak of rights, for we have been given everything and forgiven everything and promised everything, so that (as Luther said) we lack nothing except faith to believe it. In Christian worship we acknowledge that if we had received justice instead of charity we would be on our way to perdition. A Christian congregation is thus a body of people with gratitude to spare, a gratitude that can spill over into care for the neighbor. And it is of the essence of the matter that this concern for the neighbor is the overflow of a great gift of grace …


About this entry