My pastor said something this morning that caught my attention. He’s been teaching the last few weeks on mercy. Today was about how God loves us enough to not leave us where he found us. He reminded us how discipline from God is not pleasant at the time, but we are thankful for it later. And then Pastor said, “We do God an injustice when we run away from His mercy instead of trusting Him enough to run to Him.”
I have always been one that hates to admit when I’ve done something wrong. With my loved ones, I shy away from saying something I fear may displease them. I’m the same with God. I know I can’t hide anything from God – He sees all the horrible things I do or even think before I can yank them back. I think I feel that when I admit something, it somehow makes it worse, or more real.
When I’m thinking clearly, I know that’s silly. But now, I know it’s worse than that. I’m doing God an injustice. God has given me a multitude of reasons to trust Him. He’s given me a whole Bible full of stories of people who have messed up and God has forgiven them and used them. And when I don’t act like God is who He says, I shortchange Him and myself, and my witness to others. I don't want to do that anymore.
I can trust in God’s mercy when I mess up. I can trust that He is who He has shown Himself to be – a loving Father who wants the best for me. Sometimes getting to the best comes through discipline or even pain.
I often think of God as a wise coach. As a sports fan, I can think of many examples of coaches that people thought were crazy until they turned out to be successful. If you want a couple, see the classic sports movies “Hoosiers” or “Miracle”.
I’ll share a personal example. In college, I took a weightlifting class. I know that’s funny, but it was a credit. (For those who don’t know me, I’m 5’1” and at the time 100 lbs. soaking wet.) I was doing lat pull-downs in the weight room. My coach walked up behind me and pushed my elbows in to my body and held them there. That made it a lot harder, but also a lot more effective exercise. Coach D said “Don’t cheat yourself.”
I’ve heard that in my head a hundred times since. I think of it this way: if I don’t do things the correct way, or to the best of my ability, I’m cheating myself. If I don’t trust in God’s mercy, I’m cheating myself…but I’m also doing Him an injustice. I don’t want that. I want instead the benefit of the right relationship with God and I want my life to do Him justice so that others will see and also trust His mercy.