Michael Clark of ‘A Wilderness Voice’ blog (*) and I were sharing our thoughts on God’s mercy and this is what we wrote together.
“When you think yours is the only true path you forever chain yourself to judging others and narrow the vision of God. The road to righteousness and arrogance is a parallel road that can intersect each other several times throughout a person’s life. It’s often hard to recognize one road from another. What makes them different is the road to righteousness is paved with the love of humanity. The road to arrogance is paved with the love of self.” ― Shannon L. Alder
What do you think of this quote?
Lately we have begun to wonder how many Christians, whether authors, speakers or bloggers, have realized that Jesus never condemned anyone because of their sins (cf. Jn 3:17). Instead He forgave sin and healed from sickness. The only times when Jesus exposed sin was when He saw the sin of self-righteousness, especially in the hearts of the Pharisees and scribes.
But Jesus did say many times to those He reached out to, “Your sins are forgiven you.” Not, “Your sins are forgiven you under these conditions…” He would say that when people came asking for healing! We read,
When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. (Lk 5:22-25 ESV)
Hearts were given us not for us to reason and judge with but to love. It was the heart of Jesus that made Him heal in spite of sin in the afflicted one. So He dealt with the sin that was in the way between them and God by forgiving and then He healed them, often by dispatching the devils that bound the afflicted.
There are so many Christians out there who know their Bible perfectly. But do they really know the heart of God before they open their mouth or press the keys on their keyboard in order to tell the truth… in love? Here’s another, hopefully inspiring quote.
“Live in the wisdom of accepted tenderness. Tenderness awakens within the security of knowing we are thoroughly and sincerely liked by someone… Scripture suggests that the essence of the divine nature is compassion and that the heart of God is defined by tenderness.” ― Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging
Remember, the New Covenant tells us that God is love and even in the Old Covenant He calls Himself the God of mercy. So, before we judge others, Christian or not, let us make sure that God’s love dwells in our hearts and that we truly love others as we love God and ourselves,
For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (Js 2:13 ESV)