Have Mercy on Those Who Doubt

And have mercy on those who doubt —Jude 1:22

This short verse in the short book of Jude has long reaching applications. Why is it that we need this verse in the Bible? Surely we need it because God put it there, He knew we would need it.

Maybe some of us need it for ourselves. We can be vicious within, and this verse preaches grace from God that says “mercy” when we say “judgment.” We like to beat ourselves down for being such a filthy being, and there’s some dark part of us that actually likes that. It’s an attempt to live outside of the grace of God, because if grace really took hold it would lead to a freedom that we’re not in control of. And we would rather be in control even if that means we’re in chains to our judgments of ourselves.

Maybe some of us need it for others, we might think we’ve arrived at some kind of spiritual plane and assume everyone else should be wherever we are with us. Never underestimate the power of a human to seek power over other humans. For those who might be strong in one area of faith compared to others, it’s a temptation to use that and see yourself as better, more powerful and therefore more superior to someone who might be lacking in one particular area.

I think Christians, whether true or not, are generally characterized this way: we are people who don’t have mercy on those who doubt. Sometimes we deserve it, other times we don’t. Now we can’t alter the times when we don’t deserve it, in fact, that should be expected. But we can alter the times when we do deserve that characterization. How do you respond to someone who calls themselves an atheist? Does it make you recoil in horror? Do you let them know passive-aggressively that you have a big problem with them? Or do you show mercy? Someone is more likely to respond to mercy than to judgment.

I think mercy is an incredibly hard thing to show. It’s hard to show to ourselves, it’s hard to show to others. We want to be judgmental, we want to be arrogant. But God calls us to something more, something better. Showing mercy is not something we can accomplish by ourselves, and if we try it that way, we’ll know because we’ll fail. But the Spirit is more than powerful to overcome our lack of mercy, and He works in us to accomplish His purposes.

Because we are a people who are “waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life” (Jude 1:21), we can be a people who show mercy in ways that can only be described as supernatural.

originally posted on orlandograce.org

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