God, Have Mercy

Whenever I’m on social media, I see a lot of posts along the lines of “I thank God that I’m not like those moronic Trump supporters” or “I’m so thankful that I’m not like those crazy liberals.”

There’s a lot of self-righteous finger pointing and blaming when it comes to all the social unrest we’ve witnessed lately. I find it’s very easy to sit behind a keyboard and cast blame at others.

I’m reminded of the parable Jesus told about the Pharisee and the tax collector who went to the temple to pray. The Pharisee’s prayer that went something like “I thank You, God, that I’m not like those dirty rotten sinners, especially that tax collector over there.”

The tax collector’s prayer was much simpler and shorter: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”

Which prayer did Jesus commend? Jesus Himself said that it was the tax collector, not the ultra-religious Pharisee, who went home justified before God.

The point is that before I start assigning blame, I need to look in the mirror. When I point a finger at someone else, that usually leaves 4 pointing back at me.

I’m also reminded of Jesus’ response when told of an injustice done to the Galileans. He called not for retaliation but for repentance. In other words, you have enough sin in your own life to grieve over before you start trying to punish everyone else for their sins.

While it is vitally important to be socially conscious and aware of injustice, the place for change has to start within. The one staring back at you in that mirror is the first one who needs to change.

Also, once you realize just how much you need the grace of God, you will be freer in giving it to others. Once you understand how much God has forgiven you, you will be faster in forgiving others. I know in my own heart what I am capable of apart from the grace of God sustaining me every single day, so I have no right to condemn or judge anyone else for their wrongs.

God, have mercy on Your people.

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