This is Part 5 of 5 parts looking at “The Heart of the Issue relating to people.”
Peers Exercise Mercy
The problem is often that if it is a peer that you are having trouble with, your mercy will often be seen as weakness and just ignored. At that point, you have to let the peer go. You have to wait until that peer comes to his senses and will respond to the godly mercy that you exercised. Peers check themselves and do not practice judgment (Matt. 7:1,5).
Who is a peer? It may be a brother, fellow-worker, fellow-elder, or a defiant neighbor. You continue to be available and look for opportunities to reach the heart, and wisely determine if there is real heart change. If there is real heart change, then there will be real fellowship as John wrote, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7 NKJ)
The World Does Not Understand Mercy
The world does not understand mercy, unless it is mercy that it knows it needs and receives itself. The world is not concerned about the heart of others. But that is not the Christian’s perspective. He desires to mimic the Lord, who practiced mercy to Jonah and many others.
Do you care about the hearts of people? Or do you care only that people act in a certain way? I’ve only scratched the surface on this. How would you make application to other areas of life?
How do you discern when to practice mercy or judgment at home with children?
When you practice discipline at home, what is your underlying purpose? Are you doing the discipline in order to reach the heart? Would you neighbor who is watching believe it?
Are there secular and sacred parts of life? Which ones? Why would you offer that as your response?
How do we as Christians always maintain a ministry-mindset whether we are functioning in ministry or in the world?