Cut Others Some Slack
“The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17 NIV).
The Bible says wisdom is full of mercy and good deeds: “The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17 NIV).
In other words, it’s wise to show grace to people when they mess up, when they blow it, when they sin, when they fumble, when they have faults, and when they fail.
Who is the wisest person in the universe? God. Who is the most merciful person in the universe? God. So, any time I judge, I’m being foolish. Any time I’m merciful, I’m being like God. And that’s wise! It’s wise to cut people some slack, because God cuts you slack all the time.
Everything you have in life is a gift from God — even your next breath. If you got what you deserved, you wouldn’t be alive. Yet God doesn’t give you what you deserve. He gives you what you need. That’s mercy.
Wise people give people what they need, not what they deserve. That’s mercy, and that’s wisdom. Wise people don’t emphasize other’s mistakes, because they are merciful.
Proverbs 17:9 says, “Love forgets mistakes; nagging about them parts the best of friends” (TLB).
Let me tell you about a couple who at Saddleback Church. Mike has been on the Saddleback staff for many, many years. On the day he and his wife, Sally, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, I saw them in the church parking lot. Sally was getting ready to drive off, so I walked over to her car to congratulate her. I asked her, “What is the secret of a 50-year marriage?” She looked at me and said, “Pastor, I never tried to change him.”
After she drove off, I walked over to Mike and asked, “Mike, what’s the secret to 50 years of marriage?” He said, “I never tried to change her.”
Wisdom is full of mercy.
Talk It Over
- What are ways you can show mercy in your relationships?
- Think of someone in your life who needs to experience mercy. How can you demonstrate it to that person today?
- Who are the people in your life that you would consider wise, according to the descriptions of wisdom here? How do those people exemplify wisdom?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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