March 22nd, 2021
Jesus did me a solid today.
All over the planet, people are having difficult conversations about the state of our world. My family is no exception. My dad and I had a discussion this morning that typified the idea of “heated”: it started by boiling over, then simmered as we discussed factual data and historical context, and then settled as we found common ground.
He and I are sometimes boxers in a ring; not the kind who are bitter rivals, but the type who respect one another and dig each other’s particular fighting style. I won’t get into the details of the conversation, but it basically came down to what happens to a person when they break the law. We saw recent examples from different points of view (which resulted in the early boil), but as he shifted his words to The Word, I found the one I was looking for.
I’m given relevant information from the Bible on a regular basis; I receive it like any other kind, which means sometimes it resonates with me or educates me, and sometimes it doesn’t. When we got to this part of the discussion, he ended it by saying all Jesus is about and all he was trying to teach us is one word: mercy.
And it got me up off my stool in the corner of the ring and allowed me to bring it back to the beginning.
Now we have to look at how criminals are treated through the eyes of Jesus: is it with mercy?
And that answer, over and over again, is no.
If your answer to this is, “But they’re criminals!”, then I suggest you hold on that stone; there is no way you’re reading this and have never broken a law or a rule in your time. And if you’re a Christian reading this, I have just one word for you: mercy.
I have quite a few friends in my feed who have been very non-inclusive (which is a nice way of saying awful) lately, whether it’s with their public comments in public forums (which social media sites highlight for your friends, in case you’re wondering), their memes or their shares.
Many of them are adamantly Christian.
So this is just a reminder to anybody who needs it, as I know I do sometimes. Ask yourself: am I showing mercy today?
And not just for other people. Ask if you are showing mercy to yourself.