Because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. – James 2:13
We all have been shown great mercy in our lives. God has shown great compassion and forgiveness towards us in not counting our sins against us. We were in a place were God was ready to punish us and cause us great harm in sending us to hell for eternity for our great sins. Yet he showed great mercy and love towards us, forgiving our sins in his Son. When we therefore show no mercy to others, especially believers, we sin greatly. Warren Weirsbe says, “The most miserable prison in the world is the prison we make for ourselves when we refuse to show mercy.” Such a prison many believers are in not being able to show mercy to others but being a great benefiter of mercy from God. God came down from above as the compassionate one to forgive your sins, yet we cannot show compassion to the sins of another believer. Judgmentalism is one of the great sins in the Church, as we are always faulty in the way we see others, never knowing someones motives and heart (Jeremiah 17:9). When we learn to be full of mercy for others, we start to share the heart of Jesus Christ who did not judge but showed compassion to failing humanity. Look into the eyes of Jesus Christ now and see his wounds where he was pierced for you, can you say to him that you cannot forgive another? Have mercy to another?
The Desert Fathers were those who sought the Lord in a life of prayer in solitude, they sought God for God Himself. These were some of the godliest followers of the Lord in that era of Church history. A story of a Desert Father on not judging says, “A brother in Scetis committed a fault. A council was called to which abba Moses was invited, but he refused to go to it. Then the priest sent someone to him, saying, ‘Come, for everyone is waiting for you’. So he got up and went. He took a leaking jug and filled it with water and carried it with him. The others came out to meet him and said, ‘what is this, father?’ The old man said to them, ‘My sins run out behind me, and I do not see them, and today I am coming to judge the errors of another.’ When they heard that, they said no more to the brother but forgave him.” If we see our sins as this old godly brother did, we will not judge but show mercy to a fellow believer on this journey with the Lord. If we judged our own selves we would see our failings as great and have great mercy to others. We should find ourselves as the publican calling out to God for mercy constantly (Luke 18:13). Just like the pharisee in the temple praying we can judge our fellow brothers, looking down on the errors of others, but not seeing our own.
Steps to be more merciful
1 – Our Own Salvation – Remember your own salvation and what great sin was forgiven you at the cross.
2 – Personal Prison – Say to yourself that to not show mercy puts you in a spiritual prison of sadness and stress. Constantly judging others is wearing to the spirit.
3 – Doing Jesus Work – When we show mercy we are being the hands and face of Jesus to people. What a privilege to enter into that co-labouring work.
4 – Your own sin – When you are tempted to judge another because of a failing or sin, see yourself in that same sin, do you commit anything similar? Forget the other and then ask God mercy for yourself.
Lord have mercy on me and help me to be merciful to others. Amen.
Greg Gordon is the founder of SermonIndex.net, which was established in 2002. Greg is also the author of “The Following of Christ” a book on martyrdom and suffering. He was also involved in the Principles Volume which encouraged house churches to start in North America. This volume was distributed over 100,000 times in ebook form via Amazon Kindle and other formats. Many house churches have started through this effort. He has also written Uncompromising Faith and other books.