Scripture- “because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” – James 2:13
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Matthew 7:1-2
Insight: One thing I have learned from my Christian faith is I must be slow to judge others, but quick to judge myself. But saying that doesn’t it make it any easier to do. In my flesh, I am so quick to judge those who make my life difficult or who are literally unlovable in their behavior towards me, but Jesus calls us as His followers to a higher level of mercy. Let’s consider what it means to let mercy triumph over judgement in our everyday lives. Many people, including myself, are often guilty of drawing conclusions or judging other’s motives or intent before they have taken time to really understand the situation at hand and to pray for God’s guidance on how to handle things. A much better approach is to lead into every situation from a place of mercy rather than judgement. James chapter 2: 13 even states that “mercy triumphs over judgement.” Many people who are turned off by Christianity or the Christian Church state the number one reason is the hypocrisy of the people they have met. A judgmental person is certainly not one to attract someone into wanting to know more about Jesus Christ, who himself was the exact opposite of judgmental, but rather was full of grace and mercy. He always had time for the lowly, the despised, the so-called “sinners” of society that the Pharisees looked down upon, but whom Jesus always spent time with.
Jesus’s mercy led to many wonderful stories of salvation throughout the Bible. In fact, Romans 8:1-2 points out that one of the greatest benefits we receive by accepting Christ into our life as Savior is to be free from the condemnation of the world: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” The Samaritan women at the well in John 4 is a stunning revelation of the length that Jesus goes to offer mercy instead of judgement. Though she was a Samaritan, someone Jews were not even supposed to associate with, and who had been looking for love in all the wrong places, as evidenced by her 5 failed marriages, Jesus didn’t condemn her, rather he had mercy and extended her an invitation to drink from the well of the living water, Himself, from which she will never grow thirsty again. The same mercy is extended in John 8 with the adulterous woman. People wanted to put her to death for her sinful act, but Jesus offered mercy and left them wallowing in their own hypocrisy when he said “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7 Can you imagine how foolish they all felt as they slowly walked away? Why am I so quick to judge others? Why are we as a whole so quick to want to cast judgement on others? Does it make us feel better about ourselves? Is it a result of the divisive media pitting right vs. wrong on every issue? Jesus shows us a better way. Mercy indeed triumphs over judgement!