My husband and I had a discussion last night about some government principles...I will not revisit it here (you can thank me later), but I will say that it gave me something to think about. Just one question I asked keeps replaying in my mind, "Who deserves mercy and how do you decide?”
I have strong convictions. I do not make apologies for loving Jesus and wanting others to know Him. I don't deserve His love, but so very thankful He loves me anyway, continually, one hundred percent of the time. Jesus looks at my heart. He knows I do not deserve mercy, but He gives it anyway. He chose to die for me, though I have never done anything deserving of it. I can not do anything good on my own. I know myself. I know the thoughts that run through my mind. I know the attitudes I carry about people or situations. I know me. Sometimes I don't like me, and to be honest, if you knew me like I know me...you probably wouldn't like me either. How’s that for honesty?
So there's my problem...what makes me think I am able to decide who deserves mercy? I perceive others situations and decide (from the outside) if they are worthy. I don't walk in their shoes. I don't live their lives. I can't see their hearts. I don't really know anything, but yet I mentally decide who is worthy of love, praise, mercy,or grace. I have enough issues of my own. I struggle with things that no other human may be able to see…issues I have to take to Jesus daily. Who am I to decide anything about another soul? With the words out of my own mouth, God convicted my heart. With. My. Own. Words.
Ever been pierced by your own words? It hurts. I am ashamed of my heart. God really used these words to put me in my place. Where is my place? In a state of humility, humbled, and broken...just like I should be. A place of knowing that I am nothing on my own...my salvation has nothing to do with me or what I deserve, but everything to do with my Savior. A place of knowing that without Jesus, grace would be a foreign concept to me. A place of knowing that I don't deserve praise, mercy, love, or grace...I am not worthy of any of it, but because of God's love for me (and you), He chooses to gift all these. Because God continually extends these to me, shouldn't I want to pass on praise, mercy, love, and grace to others? Shouldn’t they receive the same mercy given to me? Before I open my mental mouth to pass judgment on someone, maybe I need to take inventory. I need to remember exactly where I was without Jesus. Hopeless. Desperate. Filthy. I am no better than the lowest of the low. I have been where others are. Instead of measuring others by my warped standards, I need to see them as Jesus sees them… troubled souls in need of a Savior. None of us deserve mercy, but thankfully, Jesus doesn’t give us what we deserve. He gives us exactly what we need.
Oh, Lord, forgive me for my self-righteous attitude. I am nothing without you. Help me never to forget, Lord, where I was when You called me out and where I would be if I had not listened. Help me to remember that I am a sinner saved by Your grace alone. There are no big I’s and little you’s in Your kingdom. Remind me of the price paid for not only my soul, but also for the souls of others. Fill me with Your love and mercy and help me to give them to those I meet along the way. Never let me forget who I am in You. How thankful I am for Your mercy and grace! May all I do and say bring glory to Your name. Amen.
This is my commandment, that you love one another
as I have loved you. ~ John 15:12