In recent weeks, it appears that every pain and unresolved issue we have faced as a nation has come to the surface and is festering as an open wound. People are hurting, some are dying, and many are seeking justice. Where the “woke” see the underlying political agendas at work in both COVID and the rioting, others are fixed on championing the victims. Rather than questioning the media or checking all the facts, many mercy-minded souls are simply calling for love. And yet, if we don’t uphold God’s righteousness and truth while extending mercy, we’re going to love people right into hell.
And His mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation. (Luke 1:50)
Heaven’s mercy will always reflect the fear of the Lord and compel others to walk in righteousness and truth. Even as many are seeking to bring comfort to the hurting and calling for justice in the streets, there is a carnal mercy that is masquerading as truth. By putting the Golden Rule above God’s laws, we are leading people into a dead end with no way out. Whether it’s calls for protecting the population or giving license to the lost, we must know the difference between unsanctified mercy that is fueled by our flesh and our fears, and sanctified mercy which is born of the Spirit.
Unsanctified mercy is stuck in the human condition with a need for retribution. Sanctified mercy pulls people out of the lies and counterfeits, and points them to freedom of a higher order (1 Tim 1:13-14).
Unsanctified mercy is seeded through second-hand offense and unresolved pain. Sanctified mercy flows when forgiveness is extended, and blame is cancelled (2 Cor 4:1-2).
Unsanctified mercy is overcome with empathy for the hurting. Sanctified mercy is overwhelmed by the power of the cross (Titus 2:11-14).
Yes, we must love unconditionally and do all we can to show mercy and kindness to the weak and disenfranchised. But we must do so in the fear of the Lord. We cannot give away free love at the cost of our souls. The promises of heaven cannot be traded for the appeasement of the flesh. Mercy may be given freely as an expression of love, but it’s Truth that ultimately sets us free.