When Mercy Meets Mean

Early this am I had such a meaningful time in the Word & was brought low and overjoyed at the same time. Then in a New York minute, two short and ugly confrontations happened back to back that made me feel as though I’d been punched in the gut.

After a few minutes of tears, I asked the Lord to enable me to put into practice what I’d read earlier.

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also…Give to everyone who asks of you, & whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.” Lk 6:27-32

This needs to be taken in context. The beatitudes are all about the state of our hearts, the object of our focus, the attitude of our minds. So of course this won’t be lived out the same when you’re abused by a spouse or relative. And it doesn’t mean we’re to enable others to be consistently irresponsible or lazy or mean. Those are other topics that need deeper digging and wise counsel.

When I’m brought low by others in the everyday…demeaned, disrespected & dishonored, will I depend on the Lord for everything I need? Maybe I’ll need strength to forgive. Maybe I need to examine my own attitudes of entitlement or ease. Perhaps I’ll need courage to confront or set a boundary that will cause conflict. In my case this morning, I needed to allow the Lord to put into practice what I’d received comfort from an hour earlier. I’d had the right motives and spoken with grace, only to be accused and sneered at, not once but twice! Man, that hurt my feelings! The angry name calling that began under my breath needed to be replaced by God’s mercy & met with immediate prayers instead.

I share this because I needed to pen it. And I know this Truth is relevant for all of us in our everydays. May we all be strengthened in our inner being today, by His grace and for His glory.

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One Response to When Mercy Meets Mean

  1. Joe Pote says:

    LauraLee, I really appreciate how you wrote this post!

    So often, we get caught up in revealing a specific truth and fall into the trap a one-size-fits-all approach, as though God’s word assumes a Utopian vaccum devoid of evil intents…or as though addressing the sin in my own heart causes all other evil in the world to cease to exist.

    To me, it is so much more meaningful to discuss, as you have here, how living out the truths of God’s word works in the everyday world of fallen man and sinful people, and to recognize that different situations call for different courses of action.

    For me, this is a major part of the challenge of everyday living…the trying to discern what situation I’m dealing with, and how best to address issues. Sometimes, we need to turn the other cheek and give our shirt to the person who asked for our jacket. Other times, we need to confront others with their own sin and exhort them to walk in love. Still other times, we need to just walk away from the situtation, completely, and leave it to God to deal with other people’s sin issues.

    Thank you, for being willing to talk about these everyday difficulties of figuring out what walking in The Spirit really means!

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