Rev. Dan Puckett: We must learn to walk in mercy, truthPublished 10:10pm Wednesday, September 5, 2012
“Let not mercy and truth forsake you.” This statement is found in the Old Testament book of Proverbs, chapter 3.
Mercy and truth in perfect balance is the legacy of Jesus Christ. In the gospel of John 1:17, we read, “the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
There is a fine line between grace and mercy but the picture is clear. If you truly know and love God, you have experienced mercy and truth. The task now is to dispense it to others.
If there is a fallacy in the visible church, it is that one of these two is neglected in favor of the other. If mercy overrides truth, it becomes permissive and leads to debauchery. If truth rises over mercy, you have legalism and judgmental attitudes.
Mercy is driven by love and love will suffer long, but will speak truth when needed for the greater good of the one loved. Truth will not move anybody if it is not tempered in care and mercy.
In the gospel of John, chapter 8, Jesus perfectly couples mercy and truth. A woman was brought to him who had been caught in the act of adultery. Her accusers forsook mercy and demanded her to be stoned according to truth. Jesus challenged the accusers about their lives. They walked away condemned by their own consciences. Jesus then said to the woman, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” No condemnation, but the truth was told. Jesus called her actions sin, but extended mercy.
Somehow some way, by the grace of God, the people of God must walk in this balance if we are going to influence others for Jesus Christ.
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