SOAP Devotional 2014-02-21
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you. (James 2:13 NLT)
The first part of this passage shows the opposite side of the scripture that reads, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”. Those who show no mercy will not obtain mercy and conversely, those who show mercy will obtain mercy.
In context, this passage is dealing with those who exalt themselves to a level where they look down on others and judge their weaknesses harshly since they, in their own minds, are above the problems others have. This is not a godly attitude, but more the attitude of people who are not true believers. God, in his mercy, does not leave us in our old prideful state, but instead creates in us the ability to show mercy to others. I have often said that when it comes to spiritual gift tests, I score 0 in mercy, but that is not a complete picture. I have lots of God given mercy toward those who are struggling or unaware of God's love. I lack in mercy toward those who would call themselves Christian and then behave like the devil. God's mercy appears to operate in the same way.
Father, help me to always be merciful to those who really need mercy. Let me never think so high of myself that I look down on others who are struggling. Instead let me demonstrate your mercy in the flesh. In areas I may be lacking give me the ability I need to show mercy to others. Finally, be merciful to me, oh God, and help me along my way.