Have you ever noticed that you like it when Mercy is extended to you, but resent it when "bad" people receive Mercy?
As an administrator, I've seen this frequently in the work place. Sometimes a supervisor will be displeased and upset when they've seen me extending grace toward another supervisor. When another supervisor has messed up and they see me coming alongside him to help him overcome his deficiency, instead of coming down on him and meting out punishment, sometimes that stirs up some resentment. But that same supervisor will be grateful for my kindness when it's him that's messed up.
I have an agnostic acquaintance who's voiced an aberration toward the God I follow, and one of the reasons is because he finds the whole mercy thing ridiculous. The fact that the Bible says that someone could live a "good" life and end up in hell, while someone else could live a "bad" life, and then repent and turn to God for salvation near the very end of his life, and get to spend eternity in God's presence - that doesn't seem reasonable or fair to him. I've agreed with him, that it's not fair. The truth is that every one of us deserves to spend eternity in damnation and separation from the Holy God. None of us is good enough, none of us is perfect, so on our own we can not come into the presence of a Holy God. It's only through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross in my place that I get to have a relationship with God.
But sometimes I've forgotten about all that.
Sometimes I've become so concerned about being surrendered to the laws of God, and doing things His way, that I forget about being surrendered to the purpose of God. Recently someone mentioned how much they liked a preacher named Andy Stanley, so I googled him, and while I was doing household tasks, I listened to a sermon of his from the book of Jonah. Stanley made this point during his sermon that really hit me:
"you become judgmental by being a very very good person who never surrenders to what God wants to do in the lives of people who are not as good as you are"
Oh gee, isn't that terrible?! And you know what? Sometimes I've been like that. But I never want to act like that again.
What about you, have you ever had problems with judgmental Christians? Have you ever been surprised to find that you've been judgmental? Is it easy or tough for you to extend mercy toward others? What helps you be merciful?
Growing Old - Disgracefully
2 hours ago