Monday, June 11, 2007

Mercy and Truth

Proverbs 3:3 says - Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. As Christians, these two necessary virtues are to describe who we are. The word mercy in Hebrew literally means "lovingkindness, kindness, or steadfast love." Though we are to stand for truth as a buckler of God's Word we are not to let love or mercy depart from us. It is to adorn us outwardly and to be engraved on our hearts inwardly.

However, being loving to people is not enough. This love or mercy is not to stand alone. In fact this combination of mercy and truth is found through the Scriptures (Prov. 16:6; 20:28; 2 Sam. 15:20; Ps. 25:10; Hos. 4:1; Mic. 7:18-20). Love/mercy must be accompanied with that which is right and true. Truth must also possess and adorn us as does love or mercy. Truth without love is warned against in Ephesians 4:15, as we are told to speak the truth in love. You cannot separate the two.

Love without truth is deceptive and is an unfaithful love. Truth without love is often harsh and cold. Combine the two and you have a potent combination that God uses to transform hearts and give Him glory.

Proverbs 3:4 tells us what fruit this combination of mercy and truth brings forth - And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man. No one esteems someone who has no love or who is destitute of truth. What virtue is there in that?