Loving mercy is a great concept, but where’s the limit?

Loving mercy is a great concept, but where’s the limit?

A Story by Precious Prodigal

July 16, 2013: Please “Share” this link to a new Precious Prodigal Blog Post: http://wp.me/p1D8dQ-bA


Micah 6:8  “…what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy…”

1 Cor 13:5 “[Love] beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

In looking at the few things that God requires of us, I didn’t have much trouble with the part about “doing justly.” You probably didn’t either. Doing the right thing, especially in the chaos of living with or loving a prodigal, just makes sense. Someone needs to “suit up and show up,” to set an example, to make responsible choices, right? If not me, then who? But are we really doing the right thing if we aren’t willing to do the second part, which is to “love mercy?”

It hasn’t been easy for me to examine my heart and look at myself in the light of “loving mercy,” because attitudes of the heart aren’t easy to recognize much less to change. And, after all, isn’t there a limit? People have no idea how much we have put up with before we said, “Enough!” You’re right that people who have not walked this path have no idea. However, those people aren’t the ones who say we are required to love mercy. That instruction came directly from God, who sent His son to die on the cross for our sins. And He does know the path we’ve walked.

Loving mercy is summarized nicely in that it “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things.” I don’t think that combination of words was used by accident. Bearing means we don’t bolt and run because the path isn’t easy. Believing doesn’t necessarily mean we believe our prodigal. He or she doesn’t have a lot of credibility, after all. But the God of the universe does. We can believe that He is going to work the worst things out for our good and His glory.

When we believe God is in charge, that sense of despair and hopelessness will leave and we will be able to say, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God…” (Ps 42:5) Our hope doesn’t lie in the strength of our will or in the ability of people to do the right thing. And if it does, we need to prepare ourselves for disappointment. Our hope is in God. And it’s that belief in God and the hope that belief gives us that makes us able to endure. If I had to rely on my own power to change anything, I would quit because I can’t change the human heart. And neither can you.

There may be a part of you that still says, “What they are doing isn’t fair,” and you’re probably right. But do you know what else isn’t fair? When I hurt you by accident or even on purpose, I want compassion. I’m having a bad day, I have heavy burdens, I have too much responsibility…and the list goes on. I might even say, “You’d easily forgive me if you knew what I’m going through.” And all that may be true. But is it really fair to ask for mercy when I hurt you and then demand “justice” when you hurt me?

Challenge for Today: Can you, just for today, ask God to show you how to find that hope so you can “love mercy?"

© 2013 Precious Prodigal

Author's Note

Precious Prodigal
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