Faithful followers of my elders blog will know that in my last two posts I expressed how I have been working through what it means to have hands and a heart that are pure (Psalm 24), and to walk humbly. These are two out of the three requirements the Lord gives us in Micah 6 vs 8.
Now, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.
The third requirement is to love mercy which is the theme for this blog.
A quick update…
However first a quick update on ‘walking humbly’. Like so many things in our Christian walk this is all about putting faith into action and making choices. A helpful illustration for me is the Parable of the Wedding Feast (Luke 14). Jesus tells us to ‘go and sit in the lowest place’ i.e. work out which is the lowest place you can sit at and make a beeline for it. This is a principle that can be translated into pretty well any situation. This is so against the way of the world where you push and shove to get the ‘best’ place. The part that takes faith to is to trust that in His amazing grace, the Lord can come and move us up higher.
So to ‘love mercy’. Well this seems pretty straight forward – I love God’s mercy. I love the fact the He loves me so much He sent his only Son to die and pay the price for my sin. I thank God that, as Sam Deddis recently shared, Psalm 103 vs 10 even says “He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.”
However, as I started to meditate on these words I slowly started to realise that the requirement is that I am merciful in my interaction with other people. So how can I show mercy – what does it mean? I don’t judge and hand out sentences to people……or do I? I certainly have opinions about some situations and people. I certainly make some judgements that translate into how I feel and act.
What is central to God’s mercy for us? It is His forgiveness of all the things that we have done that have gone against Him; that have dishonoured Him; that have hurt Him; that have grieved His heart. So likewise, what is central for me to meet the requirement to ‘love mercy’? It is to be ready and willing to forgive.
Over the years it has become evident to me that the biggest stumbling block for pretty-well all of us in our walk with the Lord is unforgiveness. Luke 6 vs 37: “ Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.” As ever Jesus words are pretty black and white. There doesn’t seem to be much room for caveats and personal interpretation.
If we want walk in the ever increasing light of God’s mercy (not being judged, not being condemned and being forgiven) then we will need to sincerely walk in mercy to other people (not judging, not condemning and forgiving).
So in summary what does the Lord require of us:
- Do what is right – have a tender and responsive heart that is prepared to change as the Lord shines a spotlight on things that are not quite right.
- Love mercy – forgiving other people; not judging or condemning them.
- Walk humbly – consciously choose ‘the lowest seat’ and allow the Lord to raise us up to wherever He chooses.
Mike Wendes, September 2019