James 2:13 says, "Mercy triumphs over judgment."
I love this saying but find it so hard to follow. In my head I know that it is the right thing to do, but my emotions get in the way and cloud my judgment. Did you notice that - judgment. The mercy slips away that quickly and judgment fills its place.
I was talking to a young man a few days ago. He is struggling with all of those things that young people struggle with - fitting in, being liked, making good grades, arguing with his parents. I mentioned this Bible verse to him.
I told him a story about myself. One morning, my husband and I were out walking on Main St. We had eaten breakfast and were strolling with our cups of coffee. We went in a shop and got reprimanded for having cups of coffee. We were told to take them outside. Now this was especially offensive to me since I had spent $100's of dollars in this particular shop. I rebeled and kept my coffee with me, but left the store in a few minutes. I ranted at Quentin about being reprimanded (it is one of my MAIN pet peeves).
He said, "Oh Beth, he just doesn't want anything spilled on his inventory."
Well I could understand that, but still. Then I remembered, "Mercy triumphs over judgment."
I walked down the sidwalk reciting it to myself. It took quite a while for the mercy to replace the judgment. Even though I know this verse by heart and know the effect it can have on my life, my words, my actions, it still does not take center stage. I am so human.
We used to have a preacher who always said, "Lord have mercy" in his sermons. The Lord does have mercy. We on the other hand are always struggling to be merciful.
Well, my young friend posted the scripture on his FB wall. A reminder to me to be merciful. Isn't that what God would want?