Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17
Mercy is one of the first things to go.
I realize that about myself. I’m not proud of it.
When I’m stressed—physically, emotionally, whatever—my tolerance of minor annoyances decreases drastically.
I found myself talking back to the radio as I was getting ready for the day: “How about playing some MUSIC instead of all that chit-chat???”
I knew I was in need of much mercy.
And was giving little.
Later that day I heard Romans 1:31 read aloud—a list of things we want to avoid—and one phrase in particular landed on me:
having no mercy.
Having no mercy.
Was that me?
I moved on to James 2:13:
For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Side by side.
Was there a stronger connection between the two words besides Greek alphabetical order?
While judgment is bound up in law, mercy is released in freedom.
Freedom allows opportunity. And through those opportunities, we love.
My friends, you were chosen to be free. So don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do anything you want. Use it as an opportunity to serve each other with love.
Galatians 5:13 (CEV)
When I’m bound, tied up by my own anxieties and worries, I’m not free to show grace to others.
I’m not free to give mercy.
I’m simply, well, not free.
But when I embrace my freedom—because of mercy that has been freely delivered to me through the Spirit of the Lord—I can give grace again.
That is freedom.
And in freedom, mercy is never the first thing to go.
Mercy never leaves at all.
revised from the archives
- Serving Loved Ones Is Serving the Kingdom
- 7 Books I Recommend—June 2020