Mercy and Justice

“We want mercy for ourselves and justice for others.”  This is certainly not a new thought, but maybe a reminder would be in order.  When was the last time someone made excuses for your behavior?  When was the last time you made excuses for someone else’s behavior?  My wife has made a few excuses for me, but I know of no one else to do that.  Sometimes parents will make excuses for their kids’ behavior, partly to exonerate their own failings.  And of course making excuses, whether for ourselves or for others, is counter productive.  Excuses imply that we don’t want to face reality, that we don’t want to change.  We try to deceive our own moral standards, but not too successfully.  We need to be rational about our faults, not rationalizing them.  It all boils down to “self.”  Since I haven’t yet shed the sin nature, I’m like the rest of you.  Unless I’m alert—N.T. terms: taking heed, watching—I will default to making excuses.  The indwelling Holy Spirit is there to nudge me in the right direction—and he’s doing his job—but we can “quench” the Holy Spirit (1 Thes. 5:19).  I take some solace in making a measure of progress in this arena, but I’m “not there” yet.

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