Our friendship with Justice and Mercy

The tension between justice and mercy is one that hurts and is filled with regret and broken relationships. Justice is sometimes misconstrued as a graceless use of the truth. Mercy is occasionally a misinformed use of grace, a love without intelligence.

Jesus knew. Jesus loved. Jesus was just.

Recently it was made more clear to me that sometimes we need to work in Justice because Mercy has become our closer counsel. And I’m thankful to Jesus that i have certain people in my life who are better friends with Justice when I’m going through a season of being friends with Mercy.

When we are friends with Mercy, the truth will be coloured in a way that we will reword the truth so that we can be nice.
When we are friends with Justice, the truth will sometimes be painted in impatience so that we can get the job done.

Both friendships throw love and relationship out of the window.

Jesus didn’t yell at Zacheaus – ‘Oi, liar!! stop stealing from people you big lummox.” He invited himself around for dinner.
He didn’t call the prostitute a whore and throw stones at her, he explained the situation in freedom terms and farewelled her into newness.
But he also didn’t tell the rich young man to keep all his stuff so that he would follow.

One of my heros talks about how we need to live in tension. and the tension between Justice and Mercy is a hard one, because they are almost complete opposites. But in Jesus they begin to hum with a beautiful harmony that releases the world into freedom and love.

One thought on “Our friendship with Justice and Mercy

  1. We were speaking about this exact subject in Bible Study today, reading chapter 6 of Luke, his sermon on the plain, which talks about loving your enemy, turning your cheek, and taking the log out of your own eye. We decided that the end wasn’t to root ourselves in justice or mercy but to seek first to bind ourselves to Jesus. If he is still alive, still speaking, then perhaps he can lead us to what we most need to do. Still, sometimes it is the opposite of what someone we love hears…so following Jesus doesn’t mean we all agree but it does put us all under a holy authority and require from us time to consult in prayer with Jesus. Yes, as you say, the tension will always remain. Thanks for continuing to write!

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