From the Beatitudes we learn that, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7) Take that thought along with the Scripture here in James and we can understand a little better that our faith is empty when we are unmerciful. For if you think about it…we must show mercy in the same way as God has shown mercy to us.
God does not lie, nor ever will He change His mind. (Numbers 23:19) His gifts and His call on your life is irrevocable.(Romans 11:29) It’s us that sabotage and deliberately destroy His plan and purpose for our life by being disobedient and obstinate. But the good thing is…even when we mess up, God won’t turn His back on us…and He won’t reject or ridicule our earnest pleas. (Psalm 102:17) And in the end, God can still work all things for the good of those who love Him, and have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
If I would take to heart this verse and Matthew 7:2, “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged…” you’d think I would stop judging others. It’s not that I voice my opinion loudly and rudely or treat others with contempt to their face…no, my condemnation is silent, covert, and secretive. But regardless, yes, I still judge, and judge harshly…quickly jumping to conclusions before actually hearing all the details. Other times, I form an opinion when I really have no right to…or I pass a verdict just for sport. Either way, it’s wrong and something I really need to work on…how about you?
We all spend our lives searching for it. But when we’re confounded with it, we usually don’t like what we hear or see. What is it you ask? It’s the Truth. The truth is sobering, straightforward, and serious. It’s what we don’t want to hear or see, so instead, we play mind games with ourselves, pretending it doesn’t exist. But the truth will remain the truth, regardless of what we want to think…and God is really good at revealing it to us. What we have to do then… is accept it.
God has promised a crown of life to those who endure trials. But when we find ourselves in the middle of a life altering trial, it’s too easy to walk in unbelief. But unfortunately, the maturing of our faith comes most times in the valleys not the mountain-tops. For it’s in the dark, scary valleys that we come to the end of ourselves and finally look to God.
As the verse says, we all stumble. And it’s absurd to say anything else. For we all have deficiencies and shortcomings. And as Romans 3:9-20 echoes Psalm 14:1-3…there is no one that is righteous. For if we are unable to keep a tight rein on our tongue, how do we think we could keep our whole body in check?
This verse is very specific in two points. The first relates to our responsibility in potentially volatile interactions. We are the only person that can control our own emotions, and what rests on us here in this verse is the obligation and charge to live at peace with others. The other point is that we can’t pick and chose who we live at peace with, for it states here we are to live peaceable with all human beings to the very best of our ability.