28 05 2009

Ever notice how some things go together? Like bacon and eggs, peanut butter and jelly, ketchup and mustard, salt and pepper. In the Bible, it is mercy and truth. Proverbs 3:3 admonishes us, “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart.” When it says we are to “bind them about thine neck,” it tells me. . .

a. We are to be reminded of them, it’s like the proverbial string around the finger

b. Others need to see them

Many women dare not leave the house dressed up pretty, without a necklace to enhance her beauty. We ought not leave our house to represent the King without mercy and truth to enhance His beauty. Then it says, “write them upon the table of thine heart,” likewise, this tells me. .

a. We are to be motivated by mercy and truth

b. Mercy and truth are to be ingrained in our lifestyle

If you put them both together, then two of the most obvious virtues in our life ought to be mercy and truth. For the sake of clarity, lets define them. .

MERCY: An attitude of love toward those who are suffering.

I love the King James Version word “lovingkindness” used to describe this word. It’s not just loving, its is loving kindness. It’s not just kindness, it is loving kindness.

TRUTH: Firmness; stability; a faithfulness to one’s fundamental beliefs.

It’s more difficult to balance than you think. In an outline given by Bible commentator Warren Wiersbee. . .

Mercy without truth = compromise

Truth without mercy = cruelty

Mercy with truth = compassion

Our finest example of perfect balance is Jesus. He stood for truth without apology, personally fulfilled everything that God commanded. Yet He stooped to have mercy on th sick, the widow, the outcast, the sinner. He waw never cruel or apathetic to the suffering, yet stood without flinching against hypocrisy.


1. It involves the words that we speak.                                             

Truth needs to be spoken in love (Ephesians 4:15). Our speech should always be spoken with grace (II Corinthians 3:12). Being silent is not always golden. Being blunt is not always beautiful. If you have trouble with this balance, you are not alone. Someone has said, “A lot of trouble in this world is caused by combining a narrow mind and a wide mouth.”

2. It involves the actions that we take.  

Talk is cheap, a balance of mercy and truth requires action. Our lost and misguided world needs the firmness and stability of truth. In a world of suffering and pain, it needs mercy. “They don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” In the words of Micah 6:8, “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God.”

3. It involves the convictions that we hold.  

“Convictions” is an old-fashioned word that simply means, “strong beliefs held without apology in spite of the trends of the culture around us. Having positive convictions about Biblical morality, disciplines, and written commands is good. Having negative convictions against immorality, vice, and that which erodes truth is good. To destroy the one who does not hold such convictions does not display mercy. Condemnation of those trapped in vice, immorality, or deceit does not display Christlikeness (John 3:17).

4. It involves the relationships we form.     

If we use mercy as our only criteria of evaluating a person’s character and circumstances, we will not be able to offer hope through sharing the truth. If we use truth as our only criteria, we will become highly opinionated, judgmental, unteachable, prejudiced.

The battle of your life may be the balance of mercy and truth. Don’t give up! Look to Jesus as your role model of mercy and truth.




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