Thursday, August 30, 2012

Can Mercy and Judgment Coexist? 3

GodThoughtsWired!              Thursday, August 30, 2012
Evangelizing the Church in the Age of Delusion

Can mercy and judgment coexist?


"For judgment will be merciless
to one who has shown no mercy;
mercy triumphs over judgment."
James 2:13

Yesterday I said,
May I suggest to you that judgment is an
extension of God's love!
(see Hebrews 12:5-11).
And may I also suggest to you that, 
in this illustration
(see yesterday's GT),
righteously judging the criminal
would have extended mercy to both
the victim's parents...AND the criminal.
And then I asked the question, "How could it be possible that judging the criminal righteously would be "merciful?"
Well, let me give you my answer in the form of a true story from my old "youth pastor days:"
"When our youth ministry grew to several
hundred students, I needed to hire a
security officer to be on campus.  One
night, I caught one of our own students
attempting to sell drugs.
  I severely
reprimanded him and then assured him
that if I ever caught him again, I would
call the police, right there on the spot.
Sure enough, a few weeks later I caught
him again!  And can you guess what I did?
That's right!  I did what I told him I would
do...I CALLED THE POLICE!  It was a
terrible scene right there on our church
  The police arrived and
handcuffed the student and halled
him off to Juvenile Hall."

Initially, the experience was AWEFUL!  I felt TERRIBLE!  Everyone in the church felt bad.  The boy's mom approached the Elder Board demanding that I be fired immediately!  As you might expect, the boy, along with his family, never returned to our church.

However, one day, about a year later, I received a phone call from the young man that I had "called the cops on" a year earlier.  He was calling to thank me!  He said, "You were the first person in my life to ever do what you said you were going to do."  He further told me that "That experience changed me.  I was headed down a bad road, and God used you to change my direction."

How could it be possible that judging the criminal righteously would be "merciful?"

I believe I just answered that question.
"For those whom the Lord
loves, He disciplines..."

-Hebrews 12:6

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