So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgement is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgement.
James 2:12-13 is a reflection on showing mercy to the poor, an addendum to James 1:27 – “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
Those are beautiful words and incredibly true. We should be steady to dedicate time to serving those who are afflicted among us. I admit that I do not do much if anything in that area. But I want to key in on the final four words of James 2:13.
Mercy triumphs over judgement.
I wrote this in my journal this morning:
For those who are in Christ, these four words are a sweet refrain: ‘Mercy triumphs over judgement.’ It’s the Gospel in four words, truth exclaimed in a short sentence. May my heart be ever drawn to those words!
This is not the meaning of the passage as a whole, but I saw such amazing truth in those words this morning as I studied them. Let me explain a bit.
As humans, we are ever-deserving of the judgement we are faced with if we are not in Christ. Our sin has separated us from God, chopped up any relationship we might have had. We ignore God, dismiss Him.
But mercy steps in and triumphs over the judgement, but only in the life of the believer. Those who haven’t given themselves to Christ will not experience the power mercy has over the judgement they earned.
So next time you, if you are a Christian, are struggling with sin in your life, think about this picture: the judgement you once faced is no longer a factor, because God’s mercy has triumphed over it in your life. Think about the idea of triumph. It’s a powerful, war-like imagery that imagines two sides going at it, with one side getting a decisive victory after a long, hard battle.
Remember that in the midst of your sin: mercy triumphs.