“Let Mercy Triumph Over Judgment!”(Jam.2:8-13).
A culturally oriented Ba Nji had invited his friends for dinner. He killed a chicken and gave it to his young culturally naive wife to prepare with some vegetables and fufucorn.
The guests arrived. The food was served. The meal was palatable. But then Ba Nji and friends noticed that something was not right. All the parts of the chicken was there except the gizzard.
Ba Nji called his wife and asked to know what became of the gizzard. The wife told them that after boiling the chicken she took the smallest piece to taste if the chicken was ready. She didn’t think there was anything wrong in tasting the smallest piece of the chicken.
Unbeknown to her, she had eaten the most important part of the chicken which is reserved only for the most important person among the dinners.
James reminds us this weekend: “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favouritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not commit murder.’ If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!”
The people who brought to Jesus a woman caught in adultery wanted to stone her according to the law of Moses. According to them she was a lawbreaker. They failed to see themselves as lawbreakers by that very act. They had shown favouritism to the man with whom the woman had committed adultery. By bringing the woman without the man they sinned by showing partiality to the woman while favouring the man.
It is important to be merciful because at the end of the day life is measure for measure. No doubt it is said that if you want to dig a pit for your enemy don’t dig too deep because you may be the one to enter the pit.
In one forum I listened to an interview in which a lady is complaining how she went to a certain law enforcement unit and from the person who opened the gate to the topmost person in the long hierarchy were from one tribe. It happens even in Christian institutions where you may find that 90% of accountants are from one tribe and in some cases minority tribes – incompetent as they may be – are all juicily placed. Meanwhile some tribes are treated like orphans! How pathetic!
God’s children are supposed to be fair, objective and impartial. Remember: “Mercy triumphs over judgment!”
James says “Love your neighbor as yourself” is a “royal law.” When we love our neighbors we learn to be impartial and not to show favouritism and not judge without mercy. This makes us royalties.
Weekend prayer: Holy Spirit convict us believers to be fair and impartial in the way we treat others. Amen!
Have a blessed weekend! Peace be with you!
Rev Babila Fochang.