Coming to grips with mercy

Mercy is an interesting concept. I don’t think that it is an attribute that comes naturally to most people. OK, maybe some, but I’m not sure it does for me. I think we all like justice unless we are the topic under judgment. If someone else does something wrong they should pay for it. It’s only right. However, if we make an honest mistake then we should be seen for our intentions and not our actions.

God has been walking me down a road to understand mercy lately. He has used a movie and a song of all things to drive home his point.

First, he has been bringing to mind a scene from the movie, “Facing the Giants.” If you haven’t seen the movie yet let me explain without ruining the ending for you. The movie is about a failing football coach who has a revelation about God. Because of this, he changes the way he operates as a coach and husband. In the movie there is a scene where one of his players disrespects his father. The coach confronts the player, who tells the coach that his dad doesn’t deserve respect. The coach then begins to point out all the player’s weaknesses. The player defends them with his good intentions. The coach then says, “you judge your dad by his actions but you want to be judged by your intentions.”

All I could say to that was, “ouch, that’s me.”

The second element he has used to get me to understand mercy is a song by an artist named Brandon Heath. His song, “Give me your Eyes,” is about the artist taking a look at humanity again for the first time, seeing what is in front of him that he either didn’t want to see or chose not to see. Then he goes on and asks God to give him the eyes of Christ so that he can see humanity like Jesus does.

What a great challenge for all of us. How different would our world be if we did look at each other through Christ’s eyes instead of our self-righteousness?

I bring this up because I believe we are moving into an extended season of mercy. Some will need to offer mercy and some will need to receive it. The fact of the matter is there are people in our community that have lost jobs and will probably lose their homes.

We could all stand around and look at the people in these circumstances and shake our heads and judge their choices. Why did they get so far in debt? Why didn’t they have put away for this rainy day? Or we could look at our own circumstances and realize we aren’t that far off from the same outcome.

The question is not, why didn’t these people make a different choice? The question should be, “How can I help?”

During this season in our history we must all come together to make sure that no one adult or child is left alone or behind. We need to understand that even in this cute little town there are people, good people in desperate need. Now is not the time to cast judgment but to cast mercy.

No one single government, church, organization or person can solve all the need in our community, but working together we can. I want to encourage you to take the challenge of Brandon Heath’s song and ask the lord to give you his eyes. I’m doing my best to open my eyes to see this world the way Christ does and to allow his mercy to flow out.

One easy thing we can all do is give to our local food banks and to Plateau Outreach Ministry. These groups are already set up to help.

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