Even though I am at the mercy of God every day of my life, I often lose touch with this reality. I’m pretty good at accepting God’s boundaries and living within the freedom they bring to my life. I consistently follow the commands of Christ and have ordered up my daily life according to what God asks of us for basic living. You know the phrase: I don’t dance and I don’t chew and I don’t go with girls who do-type living.
So, I need the Word of God to break me out of my mirage that I am not desperately dependent on His mercy—day and night. In my devotional reading, God broke into my delusional spiritual space by stunning me with James 3:2:
We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
I can easily delude myself, but the truth that James points out sets me free to see myself for who I really am. I am truly a soul in reckless need of the mercy of God.
The truth is that it is because of His mercy towards me that He even gave me instructions in the Bible about how to get the most joy from this world. The Word He sent through the prophets and then through the Word made flesh—Jesus Christ—is granted because of His merciful kindness towards me. If I’m not in trouble and am enjoying the freedom of not being afraid to look at myself in the mirror, it is because I follow the ways of God. I can’t come up with a clean-living plan on my own. Living within God’s boundaries laid out in His Word is merciful on His part and joyful for me.
None of us is without a need for God’s mercy. This is a truth to revel in. It brings great joy, laughter and greater awe. I’m amazed by our merciful God! His mercy is abundant, unfailing and powerful. It is even because of His great mercy that He often allows consequences from our sinful choices to sting. In His mercy, He knows that some of us need pain to stop and recognize how bad it hurts to stray away from God’s good instructions.
God’s mercy is at work celebrating each new day. Ironically, it sometimes requires being intimately aware of the great mercy I witness Him give to more notable sinners than I see myself. Once I recognize the lengths He endeavors to reach the worst of sinners, it makes me think that He has done the same for me. I am not any better than those who ignore His ways and get themselves stuck in deeper consequences of sin than I do. The Holy Spirit won’t let me judge others; He only uses my evaluation of other’s sins to remind me that I am no better. We are equal in God’s sight. We are all, every one of us, in need of the merciful love of God.
We all stumble. God’s mercy is offered to every sinner.