How to Obtain Mercy

Subway Restaurant’s spokesman, Jared, who allegedly lost lots of weight eating subs every day, is being investigated for child porn.

This is becoming big news and is making its presence across the internets even as I type. Lots of jokes, judgments, and outrage being expressed.

Of course, nothing has been proven. No one knows any details. But there is plenty of judgment and certainty by those who already condemn him.

Although the world likes to talk about tolerance and acceptance, it is ironic to watch the world in times like these. Why no tolerance now? I guess we want people to tolerate our personal sins, not the sins of others.

We need to be careful when such things happen, refrain from Facebook outrage and high and mighty moralistic speechifying. We all fall short of the glory of God. Not only that, our forgiveness is dependent on our forgiveness of others.

That last sentence throws people off. “Not me! I am forgiven because of Christ, not how I forgive others! That is legalism!”

Obviously we are forgiven through faith in Christ and His death and resurrection. I’m not saying there are alternate means of forgiveness.

But if you believe your forgiveness is based on what Christ did, also understand that one thing Christ did is that He said your forgiveness is based on how you forgive others!

“Forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Jesus’ parable of the man who owed tons of money and was forgiven the debt and then goes out and mercilessly beats up the guy who owes him a little bit, is punished.

God shows mercy to those who are merciful. Mercy rejoices over judgment–when we are merciful; God is merciful to us.

This is not a way of earning salvation. This is proof that you understand the mercy God has extended to you. It proves you see the depth of the grossness of your sin and your tremendous need for forgiveness.

If I need it that bad, certainly other people do too. If I know how great it is to be shown mercy, I also know how great it is for others to be shown mercy. If mercy, grace, and forgiveness mean anything to me, it will become part of who I am.

Lay off Jared, whether he’s found innocent or guilty. Lay off judging Bill Cosby. Lay off condemning the gay marriage folks. Blessed are the merciful, for they will obtain mercy. Take care of your own sin before worrying about the sins of others.