But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. (NIV)
I was in a conversation recently where it was discussed who deserved the mercy of God. The general thought being shared with me was that some people were more deserving than others to receive the mercy of God so that they might be saved, but others were not. Jeffrey Dahmer was an example given. I didn’t realize Jeffrey Dahmer had received Christ as Lord and Savior before being killed in prison. The question today is who is worthy of God’s mercy?
The Scripture teaches that God will have mercy on whom He chooses. When we read this, it lends to the idea that some will receive mercy from God and others will not. But I would take you back to Calvary. Wasn’t Christ’s death on the cross for whosoever believes? Christ died for any who might choose to put their faith in Him. He died for everyone knowing that most would never choose Him. God’s mercy has already been extended to everyone whether they choose to accept it or not.
Sometimes, when we get into these conversations, they affect our own souls. We can begin to wonder if God will forgive us for whatever horrid thing we have done. We have to remember that the wages of sin is death. Every person deserves to die physically and spiritually at the moment of their first sin. Yet God in His great mercy gives us more time, even unbelievers rejecting God are living in the mercy of God.
If we all deserve death, then we are all experiencing God’s mercy. We can complain to God if we feel someone undeservedly has received too much grace, but God’s answer might be, “What about you? You don’t deserve the grace I have given you.” And He would be correct.
It seems like, then, we should spend more time celebrating the mercy given to us and less time trying to judge who doesn’t deserve mercy. If we go by the standard that only those deserving of mercy should get it, all would perish and none would have everlasting life. If God gives mercy, who are we to argue with Him?
Prayer: Lord, remove the judgmental spirit within me that I might celebrate all who choose to receive your mercy. Amen.