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March 1                 

Arrows of the Almighty



Mercy, Not Judgment
"For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment" (James 2:13).
     Barbe and I had four little ones and so often we learned more I think from seeking to raise them right that they did from us.
     As siblings will do, they sometimes squalled and blamed each other for some crime. They would play my wife and I against each other tattling on each other. When we realized this was happening either I or Barbe would take them aside and alone ask what judgment should be minted out on the other. Since both were guilty, at the end of our chat they were asked what punishment would be appropriate for their sibling's actions. Both siblings suggested swift punishment for the other. To their surprise, we would give them the consequence they had intended for the other. Suddenly, each child lamented how "unfair" the sentence seemed now that it was visited upon them - despite having deemed it appropriate when it was intended for the other.
     My kids had shown the kind of "judgment without mercy"that God warns against (James 2:13). James reminds us that instead of showing favoritism to the wealthy, or even to one's self, God desires that we love others as we love ourselves (v. 8). Instead of using others for selfish gain, or disregarding anyone whose position doesn't benefit us, James instructs us to act as people who know how much we've been given and forgiven - and to extend that mercy to others.
     God has given generously of His mercy. In all our dealings with others, let's remember the mercy He's shown us and extend it to others.






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