Friday, December 10, 2004

remember mercy

We hear a lot of cries for mercy in our household. I'm guessing thatwe'll hear plenty more. As a parent it is difficult at times to knowwhen to extend mercy and when the judgement needs to come down. Myhusband struggles with this particularly because he has a huge heartof compassion. He greatly desires to give every possible opportunityfor a change of heart. Over the last number of months as he hasundergone some heart changes himself and learned more about holdingup authority he has had to look closely at this balancing act betweenmercy and judgement.

Christopher gives us plenty of opportunity to practice on theparenting balance beam. He has become an expert at pleading formercy, asking for the 'second chance', not only for himself but forhis siblings, too. It makes for some interesting conversations inour home as we have to explain why kid #1 is experiencing judgementright now because of their actions and kid #4 is getting mercy. Wetry to extend mercy when we can and one day Christopher tookadvantage of it. He figured he had gotten away with whatevermisdemeanor that had occurred and was gloating a little over it. Hewas pushing the envelope a little far and suddenly Kelly told himvery sternly, "Don't take my mercy lightly." We were all a littlestunned by the impact of that statement.

Later as we unpacked the situation we were overcome by our Daddy'smercy towards us that we take so for granted. God has extended mercyto us far beyond where we deserve. He is holding back His judgementbecause of His huge heart of compassion to see that change of heartin each of us. His mercy is extremely costly to Him, a very valuableand precious commodity. As we approach the time of rememberance thatwe set aside for celebrating the gift of Jesus, let's take time toremember what this gift actually cost. Remember mercy.

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