Mercy

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5)

In our verses for today Jesus warns against the hypocritical judging of another. Jesus continually preached against a pious attitude that tears others down rather than seeks to help build them up. We are to strictly scrutinize ourselves and our own actions (which should keep us quite busy!), and not judge our brothers and sisters. The traits we often dislike in others are so often the habits we dislike in ourselves. Our unbridled and untamed passions and habits are the very ones we seem to want to change in those around us.

“How should divine justice spare the sinner, who knows the right, approves it, and professes to follow it, and all the while loves the evil, and gives it dominion in his heart?” -Charles H. Spurgeon

The Bible teaches us to think rightly and to live rightly which enables us to live a life of value to ourselves and to others. When we presume to judge others in our lives, God states He will use on us the same measurement of judgment we have used. Scripture does tell us, that we are called to counsel and reprove one another, but we are not to judge. This requires a proper attitude of humility and love, always seeking what is best for the one we counsel. We are to deal with others the same way the Lord Jesus has dealt with us–full of mercy and love! Those struggling often need our encouragement and not our criticism. Is our goal to build up or tear someone to shreds?

“Oh! that I had a trumpet voice to warn you. Oh! while you are dying, while you are sinking into perdition, may I not cry to you; may not these eyes weep for you! Take to heart, I beseech you, the realities of eternity. Oh, turn, turn! Why will you die? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and ye shall be saved.”
-Charles H. Spurgeon

Here is what Jude says:

Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fearhating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. (Jude 1:22-23)

God is the only One who is able to correctly discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart. We are not to be uncharitable or unmerciful, judging with a spirit of revenge, hypocrisy, pride, or harm. Duplicity is abominable to God and He hates hypocrisy. Anytime we are severe on the faults of others while indulging in like behavior, we are nothing more than hypocrites. We must remember Scripture tells us that mercy ever triumphs over judgment:

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment! (James 2:12-14)

Take It to Heart

“The pearl of justice is found in the heart of mercy.” (Catherine of Siena)

“Nothing graces the Christian soul as much as mercy.” (Ambrose)

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:36)

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