Mercy is the preeminent quality of God. God is mercy. But God is also perfect Justice. We often think of justice as the opposite of mercy, but in reality it’s a critical component of it. Christianity is unique in that God’s mercy is shown through His justice.
Jesus reveals perfectly the demands of both divine justice and divine mercy by His death on the cross. This is exactly what St. Paul states in Romans 3:24–26. All are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Justice, as the judgment of what we deserve for sin, calls us to repentance and therefore prepares us for mercy.
The scriptures are clear that as believers we are to fight the injustice around us with a merciful attitude (Micah 6:8; James 1:27), but how do we balance the richness of divine mercy with divine justice?
Allison Ricciardi, LMHC outlines ways to balance imploring God’s mercy while also praying for His justice.
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