Credo #27: Mercy

Posted: August 4, 2011 in Credo, For brothers

Forgiveness is a separate notional matter than walking in mercy. A good conceptual way to “frame” the difference between the two is something like “paying both trust and forgiveness forward.” Now, it’s possible to go all Pharasaical with this, and try to make others, or yourself, feel condemned for not being merciful enough; or to attempt to press people to show you mercy. We are, in fact, in the full counsel of scripture, commanded to not do things like show unsanctified mercy . Think of mercy as a kind of “bias” towards people, rather than a chain that forbids you from protecting yourself and others.

“Grace” is also something else than “mercy.”

For a good working definition, think of mercy not as the withholding of judgement but rather the canceling of judgement; the dissipation of judgement. This is something that can be very hard; I know this. Your test may not be whether you blow off the waitress messing with your lunch order; it may in fact be something like surrendering up to God some of the worse pains and betrayals that life, and people, can throw at you.

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