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Justice and Mercy

by Ken Barnes  
11/16/2018 / Christian Living


The Lord is just in all his ways, and kind in all his doings. jus
(Psalm 145:17 RSV)

Have you ever tried to be just and yet kind and merciful at the same time?  Humanly speaking, it is a tall task. In the Cross of Christ, God has found a way of being just and merciful at the same time.

If you have ever been a parent, you have most likely grappled with this balance between justice and mercy.  When your children disobeyed, and you disciplined them, you still felt a little guilty because you felt sorry for them.  The saying, this is going hurt me more than you, is sort of true.  On the other side, when you overlooked a transgression to show them mercy, you still felt guilty because you were afraid that you were teaching them that it is ok to break the rules.  Oh wretched parent that I am, no matter what I do I am wrong. Jokingly, I have often said, parenting is like trying to be a cross between Mother Theresa and Attila the Hun.

God is a good Father, and he instructs us through Cross.  The penalty for our sin was paid, yet it was given to us freely.  Justice and mercy were both parts of the transaction. Justice without mercy teaches us that we can do nothing right, the opposite leads us to believe we can do nothing wrong.  Neither path alone will make us a true disciple of Christ. Justice and mercy are attributes of God.  Skew them one direction or the other, and you have distorted the character of God.  Our redemption being free to us but costly to God reminds us that God is kind and just simultaneously.

I worked for seventeen years as a missionary with Youth With A Mission. My missionary work has taken me to Mexico, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Spain, and the Ukraine.I hold a Masters of Education in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Commonwealth University. [email protected]

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