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Thursday, September 13, 2007

“’I desire mercy rather than sacrifice’ declares the Lord.” I have a hard time understanding what exactly that means sometimes. So often in Scripture we see the Lord acting in such a merciful way, demonstrating that the manner in which we act toward one another is at least as important as the manner in which we act toward God. However, rarely do we live that teaching out. It is much easier to ‘sacrifice’ to the Lord than to show genuine mercy to one another. Instead of reaching out to those people around us we would rather reach our hands up to God. Instead of becoming a blessing to one another we have our hands out looking for a blessing from God. Such is not the heart of the Gospel; we are to be purveyors of mercy.
Recently I have been increasingly disheartened by the conflict surrounding Southwestern Seminary’s new “Homemaking” degree. The press is having a heyday making Baptists out to be backward, ultra-conservative oppressors who see a woman’s role (especially that of a preacher’s wife) as being in the home exclusively. Whoever is right in this matter is irrelevant at this point. Instead of the vitriolic commentary being offered up by preachers and pundits alike, what the church needs to demonstrate is mercy. Yes, I understand that this is a hot-button issue for some in our churches, but consider its importance next to our imperative to live merciful lives!
Whether it is some exclusively Baptist issue or a local disagreement between two people, let us, the people of God, be known for living lives full of mercy toward one another. Then, and only then, can we understand what our Lord meant in his call for mercy over sacrifice.

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