So, if we are going to be like Jesus, then how should we actually live out mercy and grace in forgiving others? Have you ever heard this….”love the sinner, but hate the sin”? This is more difficult if the sin has been against us personally! It is hard to set aside pride and self to really forgive from the heart. It is just as hard to confront the sinner with their sin. But, are we really loving if we do NOT tell the sinner the truth when we forgive? The truth helps people to overcome evil with good. Truth and correction should accompany mercy, grace, and forgiveness. And we should extend mercy as many times as it takes by offering repentance. If the sinner is unrepentant, then have mercy and forgive them, but walk away.
So how do we deal with a world and people who support unrighteousness like in abortion, homosexuality, infidelity, fornication, pornography and lust in media and arts, gambling, materialism, greed, pride, self-focus, feeling based character, entertainment focus, power-manipulation-control over others, acceptance of antichrist inter-cultural ideology or religion, tolerance of humanism, political correctness, expending truth for the sake of globalism…. and so much more we deal with in our world today? Do we just claim mercy and grace says, “It is OK. You have freedom of choice. God loves you and I love you .” ? This is twisted truth! God does love them and they are free to choose, but it is NOT OK! That is the wide road to destruction! Have we forsaken truth for the sake of being men pleasers and now call it love, grace, and mercy to keep peace with one another? What about peace with God?
I know this is hard because I also struggle with confronting in truth. It is so much easier to write than to speak. But, false love and mercy only encourages the enemies’ plans and purposes….because the sinner thinks they are OK or that they can “get by” with sin and unrighteousness.
I ask myself again, if I am to be full of mercy and compassion, then how should I live? I should live in truth AND mercy because I love. Only truth sets people free and helps them grow. How can people know truth if we do not tell them? So, we must forgive AND speak the truth in love. If they are unrepentant, then walk away. We are not to throw pearls (heavenly treasure..clean righteousness) before swine (unclean and ungodly) Matthew 7:6. Jesus never forced righteousness on people….He offered it to them. If they refused, either He let them walk away or He just walked away. Jesus did not chase people down. I notice His attack was against demons and false religious leaders. Concerning ministry, He instructed His disciples to walk away when truth was not received. Matthew 10:14 says, “And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.”
Then we pray for all of them, even those who ridicule, persecute, and abuse us…even those enslaved by our Adversary. We come against the principalities and powers in the heavens who are the root cause of it all. We pray the sinner would come to their senses and know the truth, see the mercy and forgiveness of God through repentance, and increase in desire to know Jesus and follow Him! Then, we trust Almighty God to the “pay back” against evil which hopefully is their restoration to Him and His righteous ways. I must continue to exhort and encourage myself to learn and stand in righteousness, have mercy, and speak the truth in love. Lord, help me!