I wish I could recall who I first heard the following definitions from years ago, but I can’t. Nevertheless, the following definitions of justice, mercy and grace have stuck with me for a long while. Here they are:
- Justice is getting what you deserve.
- Mercy is not getting what you deserve.
- Grace is getting more than you deserve.
I think I’m correct in stating that as a rule the following is true:
- We are eager to see other people come to justice for the wrongs they commit.
- We at least want mercy for ourselves when we do wrong.
- What we really want for ourselves is grace.
We have that backwards. Oh, that the following was more common:
- That we would be willing to accept justice for what we do;
- That we would be willing to extend mercy even if it isn’t deserved;
- That we would rejoice with others when they are the recipients of grace.