“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Matthew 5:7 ESV).
We live in a world obsessed with justice. There are countless shows, books, and the like where the main point is justice. We long to see this. We delight when justice is served. And this isn’t a bad thing. One of the major reasons we as humans are interested in justice is because we are made in the image of a just God.
Atheist, agnostic, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, whatever… we are all naturally drawn toward justice. When we are wronged our hearts scream out for justice. Our entire legal system is built around this idea. There are people right now who are sitting around debating about what is just and what is not: should there be a death penalty or not? Is that true justice or not? Is it just to allow this or to allow that? And the list goes on and on…
While it certainly isn’t a bad thing to be concerned with justice, we need to ask ourselves if this is the primary thing we should be concerned about as Christians. There is much talk about justice in Christian circles, and for good reason. We should be concerned about justice. Again, God is a just God who lovingly created all of mankind in His image; therefore all of mankind deserves to be treated justly. This is why we care about issues such as abortion. We believe, as the Bible teaches, that every person has a right to life because every person is an image bearer of God created to glorify Him. It is wrong for anyone to do anything to jeopardize that without just cause.
But again, while such things are extremely important—and I do mean extremely important; we should fight for the rights of the unborn—we should ask ourselves if things such as this are the main things that we should be concerned about? Is justice the main thing that should mark us out as Christians? I don’t think so… Justice is a good thing, and we should care about it; but justice, in this world, is primarily a responsibility of the state—although in many areas they fail (like abortion). But the church is called to so much more than justice. Justice is giving a person what they deserve; the church is called to give people better than they deserve. The church is called to give mercy. Mercy, grace, and love… These are the things that should mark us out as Christians. We aren’t the justice people. We are the grace people. We are the mercy people. And Jesus says, “Blessed are the merciful…”
I am nothing; Christ is all!