When we pray things like, “God, break my heart with the things that break yours” or sing things “break my heart with what breaks yours” (I like that song, by the way) it’s easy to focus on things like mercy and grace. And those are good. They are God’s heart.
But there’s another side to his heart. He loves mercy and grace. He’s all about some social justice. But he also loves righteousness – and the earth is full of his love (and his righteousness).
The other side of God’s heart
He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
(Psalm 33:5 ESV)
If we really want to have God’s heart, we have to learn to love both righteousness and grace. Both justice and mercy. And that love (and the ability to love) is God’s heart expressed, a gift of God to us. And a gift of God to the world, flowing through us.
I struggle to embrace both sides of God’s heart. I struggle to embrace his love of righteousness when I so need his mercy and grace. But I also struggle to share his mercy when I feel I’ve been wronged or misunderstood.
Lord, help me!
In this I can certainly identify with Paul when he says, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24).
This shouldn’t be new news to me. But sometimes I forget. Sometimes I struggle. And the only thing I know to do is rely wholly on God’s grace at work in my life.
I have to trust that if God loved me so much that he gave his son for me (John 3:16) and that he also gave me the Holy Spirit as a down payment or deposit (2 Corinthians 1:22) that he will also be faithful to complete this work in me (Philippians 1:6)
How about you?
How well do you identify with both sides of God’s heart – righteousness as well as grace, justice as well as mercy? And how willing are you to suffer shame to satisfy righteousness so you can extend mercy?
Bryan, this is really good.. Seems like it just fits in with some of the studies we’ve been doing and my trying to figure out a balance. Great thoughts!!
Thanks Mom. Glad it spoke to where you are. It was nice to talk with you earlier today.