The Value of Mercy – Part 1
Scripture Reading: 1 John 4:8-16
Key Verse: James 2:13
…because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!
The New Testament makes the argument, in several places, that since God loved us, even while we were sinners; since God forgave our sins; since we were shown mercy—we should love, forgive and show mercy to all people. The Apostle James wraps his argument about favoritism around this principle. Harsh judgment of someone will bring harsh judgment on ourselves. We must learn to be merciful to all!
Using the illustration of James, chapter two, we see how the sin of favoritism works. Favoritism gives one person a favorable judgment while being harsh with another. The motive behind this favoritism can vary from economic status of those involved, to their social status in society. James points to a host throwing a banquet. When a wealthy person walks in, they get treated well—being seated at a place of honor. When a poor person walks in, they get treated poorly, told to sit on the floor. The host in James’ illustration, sins before God because of his immature judgment of people. He believes a person’s value is based on their economic status. How immature!
Mature judgment knows that every person is valuable and deserves mercy. A mature Christ follower understands that they received mercy from God, for no other reason than that they are a living being with an eternal soul. Are you showing mercy to everyone? (Continued)
Father, when I start to judge someone harshly, please remind me of the mercy you gave to me. In Jesus’ name, amen.