Why do we withhold grace and mercy from those who need them because we think they don’t deserve it?
My gateman Suleiman has shown me several times in different ways that he needs some provisions for his Ramadan fast. I have ignored because he’s been behaving badly of late.
And then this morning, God led me here:
Isaiah 58: 3 – 7 (NLT)
‘We have fasted before you!’ they say.
‘Why aren’t you impressed?
We have been very hard on ourselves,
and you don’t even notice it!’
“I will tell you why!” I respond.
“It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves.
Even while you fast,
you keep oppressing your workers.
4 What good is fasting
when you keep on fighting and quarrelling?
This kind of fasting
will never get you anywhere with me.
5 You humble yourselves
by going through the motions of penance,
bowing your heads
like reeds bending in the wind.
You dress in burlap
and cover yourselves with ashes.
Is this what you call fasting?
Do you really think this will please the Lord?
6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
7 Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
And then I realized I’ve been an idiot. How dare I expect grace and mercy from God while remaining hard hearted towards someone else? What right do i have to be unmerciful when God is always merciful to me inspite of all my short-comings? If God were to bless me based on my behaviour, where would i be? i certainly won’t be here!
Of what use is my worship when I won’t meet the needs God has equipped me to meet?
It’s hypocrisy to preach love and not live the life of love.
But I learn and I grow everyday. By the mercy of Christ, I make conscious effort to not live carelessly.