We must never forget that evil’s greatest enemy is good, and that justice must be tempered by mercy.
The above line is front the Hope for Today reading plan. When I read it and the referencing scripture, I could not help but reflect on the my recent challenges at work. My co-worker, gets so angry and frustrated, as do I when our installers fail to comply with our rules, or meet basic requirements for quality and professionalism. He on the one hand wants to sentence them to death (professionally of course) while I prefer to show mercy. It frustrates him because he sees my actions as weak, but I am only seeking to “tempter” justice with mercy. Preferring to recognize my own need for mercy and reflect the love that comes from appreciating the price Christ paid to show me that mercy.
It’s so easy for us to be legalistic, like the Pharisees for those self righteous like me and my co-worker. We both try hard to follow the rules and be people of integrity. The difference is that he fails to recognize his own weaknesses and the hopeless life of thinking you can earn your way, verses needing grace and mercy for our own sins. It’s hard to recognize our own sins when we are so self righteous because we so easily see the hard fact type laws, but become blind to the laws of love and mercy.
It’s my job to try to teach my subordinate to apply justice through the lens of mercy but I too struggle with the frustration of their failures or disregard for the basic rules and policies. Thankfully the Holy Spirit reminds me of my own sin, provoking me to consider the mercy and grace God has for me, before I act to dispense justice myself. Helping others to see the value in seeing things this way is a challenge I cannot say I myself have overcome, but I must continue to reflect the love of Christ in hopes that he too will have that revelation of mercy.
I pray that God will continue to teach me and guide me when faced with the choice of mercy verse legalism and that I will always choose mercy, as Christ choose mercy for me when he gave his life on the cross for my sins. I thank God for opening my eyes to his grace and pray that I will pour out endless grace to those who offend me or come before my judgement in the course of my assignments at work. May His love and mercy be reflected by my actions as I live out my life on this earth and strive to be his faithful servant.
“So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.” James 2:12-13 NLT