For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13, NASB).
When the Pharisees complained that Jesus was spending too much time with sinners, he said to them, Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners (Matthew 9:13, NIV).
Jesus wasn’t interested in their religious rituals or their religious pronouncements. Above everything else, Jesus was interested in mercy. Mercy trumps judgment. Every time.
Mercy is, in fact, the defining quality in the judgment of God. The mercy you have shown others is directly proportional to the mercy that you will be shown before God. Why? It’s because showing mercy to others is the sure sign that a person has accepted the free mercy of God in his own life.
When the Apostle James says that “mercy triumphs over judgment,” he is also actually pitting mercy against judgment. There’s a principle here. If you are ever unsure whether to decide to show mercy to someone or to judge them, you should always err on the side of mercy.
I still struggle with being judgmental, but more and more, I can see mercy win in my life. There will always be a struggle in your life between mercy and judgment. Let mercy win in your life too.
Eli’s Reflection: Consider your own life. Do you show mercy to others? Will you receive mercy yourself? When was the last time you actively showed mercy to another? If it wasn’t recent, what are you going to do about it? And remember, mercy is only mercy when it’s completely undeserved.
Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez.
About the Author: Dr Eli Gonzalez is the Senior Pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question.