School of Mercy

**All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth  ** Psalm 25:10a

Life is a little hectic for us this week so I am sending a quick thought before we continue our study on trust.

I think the hardest thing any of us has to do is to live a clean, pure and unblemished life. Actually, I am pretty sure it is impossible. Even if we can get all of our actions in line with righteous living, we still have to deal with our pride, ego and self-sufficiency. Truly righteous living is far from our grasp. It takes a lifetime to truly cleanse our hearts from all evil. Eternally we are sparkling clean, but in real time, on earth, today, the Lord has a lot of work to do in us. We should all be enrolled in His School of Mercy to help us deal with ourselves the way He does.

But what we can do while we are waiting for Him to make us purer vessels is be actively involved in our lessons on being gracious and merciful. First with ourselves and then with others.

Sometimes, we can be overly reactive to a problem or mistakes. Again, ours and others’.

Our tendency is to react disproportionately(?) and condemn ourselves or judge harshly the mistakes of others. We are often tougher on the shortcomings of being human than even God is.

When we mess up or we see someone else mess up, let’s remember that everything is already forgiven at the cross. If the Lord can forgive our friends’ mistakes, then we should be able to as well. If the Lord does not condemn us, then why do we waste so much time beating ourselves up when we fall?

Edification and unconditional love will go a lot farther than self-deprecation, condemnation and a critical spirit. Remembering the Lord’s promise that He has forgiven ALL of our trespasses (Colossians 2:13) will help us get over the painful hurdles of failure. And it will help us remember that we are the Lord’s ambassadors. We are students of mercy and grace. We should be ready to forgive and slow to anger, like God is. If we are not reacting like He does, then we need to learn how to. Turning our back on others and worse, on ourselves, is not the answer to disappointment and disillusionment.

I guess what I am trying to say is that sin and failure is a normal part of life. Not the nicest part, but we need to learn how to deal with both without going off the deep end. We will do wrong. Our children will do wrong. Our friends will mess up. Those we minister to are going to get into trouble. It is all a part of life on earth and in the flesh. Dealing with all these situations requires practice-a lifetime of practice forgiving, restoring and rebuilding. And it takes a conscious effort to choose grace and mercy. We all deserve to have people treat us badly for our mistakes but we want to be treated with mercy and grace. We want another chance to fix what we have broken. We want to be loved no matter what we do or say. And those around us want the same thing. None of us will ever get it right all the time. But if we stay enrolled in the Lord’s School of Mercy we will receive more of His mercy and get better at giving it.

**All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth  ** Psalm 25:10a tells us. When the Lord deals with us, it is always with mercy.

** For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. ** John 1:17 says. When Jesus Christ came, His continual focus was showing grace and goodness to those around Him.

Mercy and grace. Both are great classes to take every year. With the Lord s our Perfect Master Teacher, we can all be better students and be sure to do our homework, practicing a merciful and gracious spirit to those around us and when we look in the mirror.

Let me know what you think!