The Mercy Equation

Posted on January 20, 2016 in Justice

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God commands His people to seek justice in all things, to work to transform life into what He intends it to be.

God also commands His people to love mercy. Everyone loves mercy when it’s extended to them.

Or do they?

Jesus extends mercy to everyone who believes in Him, yet many reject his offer. There are many reasons, but one might be that Jesus has much to say about the demands of love—loving your enemies, blessing those who curse you, praying for those who hate you and despitefully use you.

I’m going through a process this week through which I face the magnitude of the mercy God has extended to me through Jesus, the responsibility I have to extend that same mercy to others, and the reality of how much I have not done so—and what I’ve reaped in my life as a result.

It’s painful, folks, yet also hopeful and life giving.

Much is rightly made of injustice in our world. Martin Luther King Jr., whom we honored as a nation two days ago, said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Justice advocates generally define social injustice as the abuse of power that oppresses vulnerable people, either through violence or through lies.

So who is vulnerable?

Certainly the poor among us, the homeless, and the ill and infirmed, are vulnerable. People who suffer all manner of discrimination are vulnerable. People who live in nations ruled by corrupt and power-lusting leaders are vulnerable.

Social injustice is portrayed in most public discourse as a top-down phenomenon. While that manifests as true, I believe top-down anything, whether social injustice or righteous leadership, is also a manifestation of what happens from the bottom up.

I start with myself. Who are the vulnerable? My wife, my children, my friends. Anyone with whom I have relationship. They’re vulnerable to how I do justice and love mercy with them.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Jesus makes it clear: from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

The mercy equation.

He has given me much grace, forgiveness, and mercy. He has given me His Spirit. He has entrusted me with a family and relationships and a gift to write and a calling to use it to bring Him glory. The measure I have received, He makes demand of me to give.

Want to change your world? Start by asking yourself how much you’ve been given and how much has already been entrusted to you.