What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
We’re all pretty good at excusing our own behavior and judging the behavior of others. For example, we may think it’s reasonable to take a few extra breaks at work; after all, we deserve it. However, we look at the coworker just a few spaces down and think they take too long at lunch and are lazy. Or we might speed a little and break a few traffic laws and think that’s no big deal. However, we are certain the guy who just passed us needs to get pulled over by the police. Or, we are rude or cruel to some of the people around us but are deeply offended when someone is rude or cruel to us.
Simply put, we want our mistakes and sins to be unjustly overlooked, but something should really be done about our neighbors’ mistakes and sins. When it comes to the sins of others, we want justice.
The truth is that all people deserve God’s just punishment for their sin—you and I included. But, thankfully, our God is merciful. His compassion led him to become one of us in the person of Jesus Christ so that he could live the perfect life we didn’t live and die the death we deserved. For his sake and his alone, God has had mercy on us. As the apostle Paul wrote in our Bible reading today, “It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy” (Romans 9:16).
Rather than depending on something I have done or not done, God is merciful to me because that is his way. It is simply who he is and what he does, and therefore, I am included in those whom God loves because it is his merciful and compassionate way.
Heavenly Father, make me to better know that it is not my will or actions, but your mercy and compassion by which I am saved. Amen.
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