There are times in one’s life when certain events do not make sense. Our actions can be questionable especially to those around us. Beth had one of those events when someone backed into the passenger side of her two door car. How did it happen, you ask? She was driving through a fast food restaurant’s parking lot. Without looking in his rear-view mirror or behind him, a man backs into her car. It was a split second realization. She tried to speed up to avoid the impact. Beth tried to honk. Well, he stopped after hitting her car. Both of them got out of their cars to assess the damages. His car did not have a scratch, of course. Beth’s? Her car had a very noticeable wound. When the man saw her car’s damage, he panicked and tried to blame her for driving too fast. He would not be accountable for his actions. He appeared to be a gangster with the getup, hair cut, tattoos, and facial expressions. His passenger was a pregnant woman. Both were very young. Beth confirmed that her passenger door was operable. She told him, “Do not worry about it,” while extending her hand for a handshake. She shook his hand, got into her car, and drove off. The expression on his face was priceless. In fact, everyone who hears of the story usually wore a priceless facial expression. Her family members never understood and made fun at her expense. One day at her brother’s family get together, his in laws asked Beth why she did this. She recounted, “While looking at the man who caused my car’s damage and noticing he was frightened, all I can hear is ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’1 I tried to ignore this still voice. It said again, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ The still small voice prompted me to shake his hand and leave. And I did.” Let’s just say they all wore priceless facial expressions and no one dared to tease Beth about this particular event again.
Has anyone ever done that to you? Show you undeserved mercy? Someone has for me. His name is Jesus Christ. He died so I wouldn’t have to. He rose to give me life. All He asks is that I maintain a relationship with Him. It is a relationship of faith, hope, and love. Once He is the VIP or Very Important Person in my life, then I can learn to love myself as He loves me. The next step is to love others as I love myself. It is great to consistently attend church, serve others, read the Bible, pray, and all that good stuff. But if the motivation is not love, I am only being a stumbling block to those around me. Which route would you choose?
1) “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” is found in the Bible in Hosea 6:6; Matthew 9:13; Matthew 12:7; and explained beautifully in Mark 12:33. Sacrifice is the law and mercy is shown by grace through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Romans 13:10 states: Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.