Monday, August 29, 2016

“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” ― Abraham Lincoln

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Micah 6:8, “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”  So few words but such deep and powerful meaning.  To “act justly” is enough to cause incredible hardship and personal suffering, yet it is what we are asked to do.  Even those chosen to be judges have difficulty with this one, so it should come as no surprise that it is difficult for the rest of us.  We know what the right thing to do is almost all of the time without even thinking.  It’s doing the right thing that is always hard and requires the courage and strength that only God can provide.  To “act justly” means being a good parent, a good friend, a good person, and a role model for all—heavy burdens to shoulder but well worth it.  Pray every morning that you will “act justly”  to do what is right to “do justice” and to make our world a better place because you have participated in making it so.  Just a couple of words that can change the face of your world.  God also wants us “to love mercy” which is also not an easy thing to do.  Christ tells us the merciful are blessed and loved by God, but our innate desire is not to be merciful but to be vengeful.  We want our “pound of flesh” and aren’t happy unless those we see as bad or wrong are punished accordingly.  Of course, that is just the opposite of what Christ calls us to do what with His “turn the other cheek” and “walk the extra mile” kind of preaching and example.  He even forgave those crucifying Him while hanging on the cross—that’s a hard row to hoe, yet it is what we are asked to do.  Not too much, to “act justly” and “to love mercy” but those need to become part of who we are and not just occasional actions that must be weighed against the rest of our lives.  If we can learn to make acting justly and loving mercy so much a part of who we are that who we are becomes a light in others’ darkness, we will truly change the world, and then, and only then can we in truth “walk humbly with our God” and live in His love and love others in His world and ours.  For some, this is already their way of life.  For the rest of us, this is what we must make our goal and try every day, even though we fail often, to be who we are—those who “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.”

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