Christ, in the night he was betrayed, gave us a clear example of how we are to love and treat others. Not only did he wash his disciples' feet and fellowship with them, but he included Judas, the one he knew was going to betray him. There was known sin, yet to the very last Christ showed love and mercy to this man who was merciless to him. Here is our perfect example.
David shared about a photo he'd seen one time some where. I did a search on the internet using various phrases I thought might bring it up but I was unsuccessful ... so if you have heard of this photo and know where to get it, please let me know. It was a photo of a man looking at a photo of one man on his knees and another man over him with a gun to his head. That might sound confusing so I hope you get it. Another man came up behind the man looking at the photo and asked him the question: "Which would you rather be? The man getting shot or the man pulling the trigger?"
David went on to say more scenarios that we should ask ourselves ... Which would WE rather be:
- The one being judged or the one doing the judging?
- The one that is not shown mercy or the one not showing mercy?
- The one that is not given patience or the one that is impatient?
- The one being rejected or the one doing the rejecting?
The list could go on and on.
Now ask yourself, as a Christian, if you were the one choosing not to judge but instead chose to show mercy, even if you were wrong and the person actually was in sin, do you think Christ would be upset with you for showing mercy? Now ask yourself the opposite, as a Christian, if you were the one choosing TO judge and not extend mercy and the person you were judging was actually innocent (even if they were guilty), do you think Christ would be upset with you for judging when you should have shown mercy?
Which do you think is the bigger crime? Showing mercy when you 'shouldn't have' or judging when you shouldn't have?
Christ said, "Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy."
He also said, "You will be judged by the same judgment you dish out."
James said, "Judgment will be shown without mercy to those who have shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment."
The song goes: (Christ speaking)
"Example give I unto you, as I have done so you should do, and if you would my servants be, obey my words and follow me."
It's not enough to simply obey; we must also follow. If I am able to obey all of what Christ commanded in the New Testament (the common things seen as commandments of Christ such as divorce and remarriage being adultery, not swearing oaths, not storing up treasures on this earth, not going to law, etc.) but I am not able to show mercy, love, or be longsuffering, am I really following Christ?
Woe unto us when we start treating people as diseases or inanimate objects instead of living, eternal souls. Jesus says, Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. He also says we are to do unto others as we would have them do to us ... and ... what we do to the least of Christ's brethren we do unto him. If we cut off one of his own, even the least of his own, we are cutting Christ off.
God help us to be found full of mercy, kindness and longsuffering towards our brethren AND our neighbors (which includes our enemies).