Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Are you okay with...? Pt. 3

Try this one on for size.  Discernment needed here, so think long and hard before you answer.

Are you okay with a God who has an incredible, seemingly unending amount of mercy?

A woman caught in the very act of adultery gets dragged into the middle of church, in the middle of the sermon no less, and is made to stand there in all her adulterous shame.  After a brief dialogue, she walks away with a lot less shame and a simple, "Go and sin no more."

A guy who has betrayed his people and joined forces with the oppressors and outsiders has made a killing doing so.  He's rich beyond rich.  He's also hated in every place he sets his foot.  God not only saves him but has dinner at his house beforehand.

A woman has spent her life running from man to man in a vain attempt to find someone who will love her.  Five husbands later, she finds herself shacked up with a guy who helps her survive.  But her soul is still thirsty.  A conversation beside a well has all the twists and turns of an animal caught in a trap but ends in salvation for her and becoming a missionary.

I could keep going.

So are you okay with that kind of God who rescues people in those kinds of situations and displays that kind of mercy?

My guess is that you, like me, are nodding and saying yes.  It's relatively easy to find ourselves in one of the above situations because we've all felt shame or ostracism or spiritual aridity.  So yes, we'd naturally be grateful for a God who shows us mercy in those moments.

But that's not the real test.

The real test is when God shows mercy to someone else.  Someone who disrupts our worship service.  Someone who oppresses us.  Someone who is of ill-repute in our town.  What if God had saved Usama bin Laden because of His incredible mercy?  That's when you know that you're really okay with a merciful God.  When you don't have those thoughts that flow from the mindset that might say something like, "But wait a minute.  He didn't deserve that.  He probably ought to pay a little for that."

But payment negates mercy.  True for me.  True for you.  True for "them" too.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

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