Every godly person and many evil people acknowledge human kindness to be an exceptional quality. Godly people admire and respect kindness. Many evil people are touched through kindness. Only a dead heart is beyond the touch of kindness.

Kindness is revealed in a rainbow of actions and attitudes. It speaks through the languages of the word, the deed, the attitude, and the spirit. Kindness is the quality of heart that determines the dimensions of a person.

What is the greatest expression of kindness? the highest order of kindness? Mercy is the greatest expression and highest order of kindness.

Mercy is pure kindness. Mercy in kindness responds to evil circumstances that demand justice. It feels compassion for a person who deserves nothing.

Mercy is never based on "merit." It is impossible to "deserve" mercy. Mercy shows consideration for a person who is completely undeserving. It recognizes that every person--even the evil one--was created in God's image. A person's worth is not found in his status or achievements. It does not come from his or her past or present. Worth comes from origin. Evil cannot destroy origin.

Because humanity needed mercy, God sent us a Savior. He did not send us a judge, or an accountant, or a moral analysis expert.

We needed to escape justice. We were accountable. Moral analysis was unnecessary--we were (and are) evil. We needed forgiveness. Forgiveness is not the product of justice, accountability, or moral analysis. Forgiveness has a single source. It is the supreme expression of the supreme kindness: mercy.

The God of mercy forgives. We, the forgiven, show mercy because we received mercy. We, the forgiven, refuse to occupy the role of judges. When the forgiven judge, they insult the mercy they received.

Never forget this truth: we will never belong to God because we are good; we will always belong to God because He is merciful.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 6 September 1998

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