You know those spiritual gift ‘tests’ that you can take to find out what gifts you ‘have’ & what gifts of the Holy Spirit you are exempt from displaying? (Here’s an example of one: http://bit.ly/1xDYRBo ). Well, I used to love taking those tests & discovering at the end that I had ‘scored’ high in certain areas like discernment, teaching, & pastor … & that I had scored ‘low’ (read: not on the charts at all) in mercy. Because, hey, I’m a firstborn & I am a ‘consequences’ person. You get what you put in, & don’t expect me to make it easier on you. Mercy was for the Mother Teresa’s of the world – I was more concerned with ‘justice.’ As long as it didn’t apply to me. When it came to me, I wanted mercy. For others? Justice. As I saw justice appropriately meted out.
Looking back, I feel silly because I was almost SMUG about my results being low in mercy… as though mercy was something that weak people displayed, while people like me (The Firstborn Justice Mafia) served to keep life in balance & compensate for the Mercy People.
One day, I was reading through Matthew 5, & the verse at the top of the page hit me in the heart like a ton of bricks.
The merciful receive a blessing, & receive mercy from God.
Because God is merciful. And He wants mercy above good works. (Matthew 9:13)
And my petty, fleshy-human nature is exposed for what it is. Self-serving. Egotistical. Proud.
I am cut to the heart – I do a word study in Scripture on mercy. Bad idea, if I want to keep my worldview as is. God is merciful. Compassionate. Slow to anger. Rich in love. And His people have His tendencies. And I have not embraced mercy. And I’ve used stupid tests to validate my own twisted sense of justice. And I am unmade.
Mercy extended. Brings mercy to me. Lord, help my unbelief. Transform this heart.