Considering Proverbs 11:17

The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

We can think of examples of this proverb within our society today. There are many cruel ideas and cruel people in the world who are quick to cast blame at others, falsely accuse others, and push for the worst punishments possible for even the slightest offense—assuming there is a real offense at all. The ways in which we see false offense and cruel judgment for these so-called offenses is astounding.

One could spend hours discussing the false accusations of racism, bigotry, and sexism, just to name a few. One could spend hours discussing the merciless actions taken in response to COVID-19 and the false accusations thrown at those who refuse to comply with tyranny. There are many ideas—ideas of deception, false accusation, and cruelty—that are tearing our world apart.

The worst part about it might be the lying nature of it all and the extreme hatred for anyone who stands by the truth. It used to be that you could disagree with someone and remain at peace so long as there was mutual respect and an agree-to-disagree kind of attitude. Not anymore. It’s follow suit with the lies and perversions or be hated—and even that isn’t good enough anymore. You’re also expected to be cruel to any who oppose. Mercy? That’s a fool’s idea in the mind of those who are caught up in the strange spirits of this time.

“Blessed are the merciful.”

That is an idea that we must hold on to as Christians. We should love mercy because we have received the mercy of God through Jesus. We know what sin is and we do not shy away from calling sin what it is. We do not make excuses for ourselves or for others, but we do make room for repentance and a desire to do what is right and true in the eyes of our Creator.

A culture without mercy is sure to have trouble. A culture without mercy destroys itself because there is no end to the vengeance of man that ensues without a love of mercy. Pair this with deceptions that call good evil and evil good, and then we have even greater trouble because not only do we lack mercy, but we punish the righteous and celebrate the wicked.

These are truly twisted times. God will judge it, and I thank God that in judgment there is mercy. I thank God that He sent His Son, Jesus to save us from our sinful and lying nature so that we can see what is good and true and stand by these things in Christ.

Yet, let us not get so caught up in the spirits of this time that we forget to look at our own failings. In what ways can we show greater mercy? Are we prone to getting sucked into the cruelties of our time? In everyday life we can seek the Lord to help us choose mercy. However, we must have sound judgement in order to know that we need mercy.

We cannot stop calling sin out for what it is. How can anyone know that they need a savior if they do not think that they are in sin? How can anyone know that they need Jesus if they do not know that their sins will lead to the destruction of their flesh—both in this life and in the second death?

It is mercy to continue to speak the truth to a world that hates the truth. Without the truth there is no repentance. Without repentance there is no turning to Jesus. Without Jesus there is no salvation. Without salvation there is no mercy. Without mercy there is only cruelty and destruction, so we must do what we can as Christians to be bold in the faith as those who were bought with the blood of Jesus. He will show us mercy even if no one else will because we are merciful in Him.

“And they overcame him (the accuser of the brethren) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (From Revelation 12)

PREVIOUS STUDY: Considering Proverbs 11:16A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

The purpose of this bible study in The Proverbs is to consider present-day events in terms of the teachings and wisdom of Jesus ChristFollow in WordPress or subscribe by email (red button at the bottom of each page below the comments) if you would like to join this discussion and receive updates of future postsVisit the link above for easy access to all posts within this series.

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