Luke 6:36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Justice: Just behavior and treatment
Mercy: Compassion and forgiveness
Grace: Unmerited favor of God
Retribution: Punishment inflicted on someone as vengeance for a wrong or criminal act
Ephesians 2:4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much.
Mercy is an easy word to use, but it comes at a cost. It requires that all personal and corporate desire for justice and retribution be removed. Justice today does not mean God’s justice where you receive mercy for retribution. Today’s cancel culture wants punishment for what they think is unjust, and they want change at all costs … even the cost of the lives of those they oppose.
God has told us that all have sinned, there is no one who hasn’t. The Bible says the wages of sin is death, the retribution and punishment are universal … it applies to all people. That is a bleak picture when you put it in those terms, but unlike the emphasis of today’s cancel culture, God offers us mercy which is His preferred form of justice. As the Bible teaches, God is rich in mercy, and it is this mercy we call ‘grace.’
Notice the words listed singularly up above, and you will notice that God’s words have to do with a restorative value; they offer a way out of the retribution and punitive punishment. These words describe the ‘cancel culture’ of God that removes offenses by forgiveness, mercy, and grace, which is another way to define God’s justice. This is the counter-cultural message of Christianity.
In order to live by mercy, you have to show mercy … mercy comes as God transforms the heart. The Bible teaches that out of the mouth the heart speaks. The words we use indicate the content of who we are and what we believe. It is easy to give commentary to the issues in life, but much harder to show mercy to the enemies of what we believe. The anger, the hatred, and the angst of this world is the culture of the evil one, and it is because of his influence that society is so confused and misguided.
We rarely talk about mercy because mercy has to do with forgiveness and restoration, and those are contrary to Satan’s agenda. He supports chaos, confusion, riots, racial unrest, and wants to keep people away from practicing mercy because that is counter-productive in his agenda of destruction. Our country is in trouble primarily because we have forgotten God and the practice of mercy, forgiveness, and grace. Our first prayer for America is that our country will come back to God, and secondly, that we vote to protect our right to have religious freedom. The future of our families will depend on the outcome of God’s mercy at the polls this November.
One last thought concerning prayer:
Prayer should always start with the acknowledgement of repentance. Pray that God will help us to be free from our own sins, before we pray about the sins of our nation. God is not partial to whom He shares His mercy, so we need to start with our own repentance and then ask God to shed the same mercy He shows us on America.
One last thought concerning voting:
We have to remember that the ideas that drive political parties are not sacred concepts and they are not the reason Christians vote. Christians vote to protect the right to have religious freedom so we can tell the story of Jesus by sharing the gospel. This is what is at stake in any election. The question to ask is: “what party will protect my right to speak, believe, and practice my faith in God?” Elections are never about the person running for office, they are always about the ideas of the party.
May God have mercy upon America.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler