Judgment and Mercy
Does anyone else struggle with the proper application of judgment and mercy? Are you never really quite sure whether bringing the hammer down is the right thing to do compared to turning the other cheek or looking the other way? In my life, especially as a dad, I often feel a tension between knowing when to show mercy and when to dispense judgment. In the middle chapters of Ezekiel, God is speaking much of judgment. However, He also speaks of restoration of Israel and His continued care for His people. Now, God can always get this right because….He is God. He is eternal and He knows the future and what is going to happen. He is also able to know the thoughts and intents of every person and/or nation that He deals with. He is also not subject to being deceived and He is not swayed by emotion. As for me, and for you I suppose, I don’t know what is going to happen based on my judgment or mercy. I can’t see inside the thoughts and intents of the people I encounter. I am subject to being deceived and ever so swayed by emotion. Ugggghhhh!
I suppose for me, and for you, the best way to manage the tension between judgment and mercy is to lean as much as I can into the person of God. I need to trust His voice as He communicates with me. I need to use His word, whenever applicable, to help make decisions in the area of mercy and judgment. God gets it right ALL of the time so the best way for me to get it right most of the time is to lean into Him. I suggest the same strategy for you….and I am thankful that forgiveness is available when I get it wrong.