Psalm 103:8-14 (ESV)
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
What a blessing that the Lord is merciful, gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love! We, on the other hand, tend to be judgmental more than merciful, mean more than gracious, ready to show anger and fickle with our love. Because the Lord knew exactly what each of us would be like even before we were born, He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross in our place. Jesus died for our sins: our inability to be merciful to others, to be mean-spirited, to be quick to become angry and to only love conditionally.
During this season of Lent, we need to take time to look at our sinfulness. We need to take time to see how we are not showing mercy to others but instead are judging them, how we are mean or respond with irritability rather than being gracious, how quickly we lose our tempers and how we tend to love those who are easy to love and who love us rather than loving everyone.
Who have you been judgmental of lately? With whom have you lost your temper? Who are you not willing to love? Spend some time in prayer asking the Lord to make you more like Jesus. Ask Him to show you who you need to show mercy to instead of judging, who you need to seek forgiveness from for losing your temper and who He wants you to love that is difficult to love.
Lord Jesus, help us to be more like you. Let us be people of mercy, grace and love so that the world might see You in us. Amen.