Our Backwards Relationship with Justice, Mercy and Grace

Posted: July 17, 2013 in Justice
Tags: , , , ,

JusticeI 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.

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