When someone has the power to punish you or do you harm and chooses not to do it, that is mercy. The bible says mercy triumphs over judgment, and there is no mercy for he who shows no mercy (James 2:13).
A lot of people hurt me in my life, but I don’t think about it that much anymore. Now that I’ve moved on, it doesn’t seem so bad. But what happens when I get in a position to do to them what they did to me? It is not everyday a person has his enemies delivered to him. When you catch them weak and defenseless like you were when you were going through what you were going through. When you catch them vulnerable, like you were when you trusted them to do right by you.
Does the memory of their offenses resurface or have I really gotten over it? Forgiveness enables us to show mercy when we have the power to render judgment. Power meaning the opportunity and the means, not necessarily the authority.
I am learning more about the God I serve. I’m learning about His mercy. He has the power and the authority to execute justice. Everything He decides is right and it’s good. If He chooses to destroy, it is right; if He chooses to save, it is also right.
God’s mercies are new every morning and He shows mercy on whomever He wills. And even with His divine mercy, a perpetrator doesn’t get away, though he may not have gotten all he deserved. We are perpetrators living under the law of grace and mercy. What separates a believer from a sinner is repentance. Believers sin and stumble in many things, but when they confess their sins and seek forgiveness, what should happen to them, doesn’t because God’s mercy kicks in. They didn’t do anything to deserve that mercy. They believed.
He gives grace to the humble, but resists the proud (James 4:6). When you do something you know is wrong, it is difficult to come before the throne of grace–especially when you know God is holy. You don’t want to face up to your sin. Shame makes you want to hide your face and cover yourself. When you do, your sin remains and is subject to penalty.
But when you confess your sins and repent, you are covered by the blood. Your sins are forgiven. You will be chastened because the Lord loves you (Hebrews 12:6), but you won’t be judged in accordance to the law of sin and death.
Though the sins of King David were egregious (2Samuel 11), the Lord did not take away his kingdom like he did King Saul (2Samuel 13:1-14). What made him so special? Repentance. David did not deny his guilt, nor did he make excuses for his sins; he didn’t try to justify them. His sins did have consequences (2Samuel 12:10-14), but he did not receive the penalty due him–death.
I can not pretend to understand God’s mercy, but I have sense enough to praise Him for it. And if He can give it so freely to me, I can learn to do the same.