I think Brian’s question this morning in class struck a slight nerve with me: Do we ever think God is too merciful?
All too often with myself, I think the answer is yes. For some reason, it seems to me like we feel that God should extend his mercy to everyone equally – generally to the same amount he extends us. In other words if I need X amount of mercy, then God should only extend X amount of mercy, or maybe slightly more than X so that I’m not the *worst* person let in, but certainly not 2X or 3X or X^2, for those of you who are math nerds. It’s as though we feel like somehow people who are significantly worse than we are don’t deserve mercy, or at least they don’t deserve more mercy than we received.
And I’m wondering why that is. Are we somehow subconsciously saying that if we’d only known that we could do a little more and “get away with it” that we would have done so? Do we not understand Paul imploring us to not continue in sin that God’s grace would abound, but rather to realize our new identities in Christ?
Somehow I think we feel that if we don’t get the “best deal” on mercy possible, that we’ve somehow been beaten by somebody somewhere, or that nobody deserves to get anything more than we received. After all, that wouldn’t be “fair”.
We must be continually reminded that we all hope to receive far more than we deserve. We must remember that our human scale of economics does not apply in a heavenly kingdom, where reward is never returned in equal portion to merit, and where each of us stands completely due to the merit of another.