Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment
"Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness," (Lamentations 3:22-23, NKJV).
Ever had one of those moments when you are reading your Bible and a scripture literally jumps off the page at you? I had one of those moments this morning as I was spending some time with the Lord. It wasn't even a whole verse; just four words from James 2:13, and they serve as the title of today’s devotional—“Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment.”
Those words have been rolling around my heart all day. So honestly, I’m not sure if they were just for me or if it's something we all need to hear. Have you ever been too quick to judge someone? Ever been judgmental about a person or a situation? Have you ever been wrongly judged by others? Well the good news is mercy triumphs over judgment every time. So, let’s explore this a bit together.
When you and I deserved judgment for our sins, what did God do? Well, I think you already know; He extended mercy to us. Why is it then that it’s so easy to get on our high horse and start judging those around us—even when it’s not our place?
Jesus had a lot to say about this subject. Let’s see what He said:
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye,” (Matthew 7:1-5, NKJV).
Wow, don’t you wish that Jesus wasn't such a clear communicator? If you didn't get what He was saying, go ahead and read it again. Really, go ahead, I can wait. This is one of those “ouch” scriptures that ought to bring all of us to repentance. Too often we’re quick to judge, condemn, write off or extend the gracious, “I told you so.” But that is so opposite of the character of God whose mercies are new every morning. So, next time we find ourselves being critical or judgmental, remember—mercy triumphs over judgment every time.
So, why are we so judgmental? Well, God’s got an answer for that too:
“Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.” (Romans 2:1, NKJV)
Now I did NOT need to hear that! But it’s true nonetheless. There’s simply no excuse. We judge others for the very things that we do ourselves. I remember one time I told Beth that a certain preacher’s tone used to bug me and her loving response was, “Do you know why he bugs you? It’s because you’re just like him.” Ouch, now that hurt. Show me a little mercy lovey! But really, isn't it true? Next time you find yourself being critical or judgmental, you’d better do a little self-examination and see if you might have a little something in your own eye. Maybe you are guilty of practicing the same thing.
Let me leave you with this thought, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked, whatever a man sows, that he will also reap,” (Galatians 6:7, NKJV). So, let’s show a little mercy today to someone in our lives, and then expect that we’ll see a little mercy extended back to us. Remember, mercy triumphs over judgment.
Say It: “Father, forgive me for being way too quick to judge and be critical of others when I need to be focusing on correcting myself. I choose to extend mercy today rather than judgment. In Jesus’ Name, amen!”
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