Last week in my children’s church class, a fellow teacher shared the concept of mercy and truth with the kids.
Did you know that mercy and truth are paired more than fifteen times in Scripture, and that mercy is always first?
Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. – Psalm 85:10
Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart. – Proverbs 3:3
The teacher pointed out ways in which mercy and truth must always offset each other, particularly when sharing the Gospel with someone.
We must first emphasize the great mercy of God, in that he sent Jesus to die for us.
We can never repay such a debt. We must accept Christ’s sacrifice as a gift.
But we must also add truth to the equation. While we should share with love the great mercy inherent to the gospel message, we should be honest about the hard-to-hear parts as well: sin, hell, and the fact that salvation through Jesus is the only way to heaven.
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: – Ephesians 4:15
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. – John 14:6
My belief in Christ’s salvation as the only way has earned me a few raised eyebrows, but people tend to take such a “narrow-minded” view more seriously when I explain that Christ himself originated this idea.
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. – Matthew 7:14
So, while the message of salvation is one of great mercy, it must be delivered fully, in loving truth.
Can you think of other ways in which mercy and truth work hand-in-hand? I welcome your input as always.