Mercy Trumps Judgment

Oct 22, 2018 4974

Mercy Trumps Judgment

It’s regular dilemma for us: should we forgive or should we judge? But the Bible incredibly tells us that mercy always trumps judgment:

For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13, NASB).

What this is telling us is that mercy is the defining quality in the judgment of God. The mercy you have shown others is directly proportional to the mercy that you will be shown before God. Why? It isn’t because God will forgive you based on your works. Not at all. It’s because showing mercy to others is the sure sign that a person has accepted the free mercy of God in his own life.

When the Apostle James says that “mercy triumphs over judgment,” he is saying that mercy is the most powerful quality in the judgment. However, even more than that, James is even putting mercy against judgement, as if they were opposites.

There’s a principle here. If we are ever unsure whether to decide to show mercy to someone, or to judge them, we should always err on the side of mercy.

I grew up in a very judgmental environment, and I became a very judgmental person. I learnt to put everyone into boxes: good and bad, better and worse. If people were in a bad situation, it was their fault, because they had made the wrong choices. If people were overweight, it was because they had no self-control. If they were ill it was because they chose to have a bad diet. To my shame, that was me.

In your life, let mercy win.

Learning the truth about the Gospel has challenged me to examine my own prejudices and the reason why I felt the need to constantly judge others. I realised that it was a self defence mechanism, to try to cover up my own defects, and justify my being better than others.

However, my failures and sad experiences in life have laid bare the truth about myself: that I’m just as broken, and no better than anyone else. In fact, I’m the one in the greatest need of mercy, and if it is not for the mercy and grace of God, there would be no hope for me at all.

I still struggle with being judgmental, but more and more, I can see mercy win in my life. There will always be a struggle in your life between mercy and judgment. Let mercy win in your life too.

When the Pharisees complained that Jesus was spending too much time with sinners, he said to them,

Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners (Matt 9:13, NIV).

Jesus wasn’t interested in their religious rituals or their religious pronouncements, if they weren’t merciful to others. Above everything else, Jesus was interested in mercy. Mercy trumps judgment. Every time.

Consider your own life. Do you show mercy to others? Will you receive mercy yourself?

– Eliezer Gonzalez

Heather Hagen

Dec 9, 2023

Thanks for the uplifting message. It has been echoed by a young man who lives in Western Australia. His article "Is Being left-handed a sin?" in today's edition of AT. I totally agree with both you and this young lawyer, as you cite James 2:13. Let us err on the side of grace. I find it intriguing that both your article and his use the word 'trump' rather than 'triumph'. In the current political climate, I far prefer the fact that mercy 'triumphs' over judgement, rather than trumping it! Don't stop sharing the good news!


Sep 28, 2019

Unfortunately this is the first time that I have had any understanding of this. Today it just jumped out at me in James 2 10. I am guilty of judging myself and others harshly even though loved ones have tried to explain how wrong that is. I am now on a journey to have mercy for others and especially for myself. A weight has been lifted today.

Bensura Ocen

Oct 29, 2018

Am lifted up and feel like everything about me has changed even if I don't know how to pray better for sure thanks very much pastor for the wonderful message

surprise Emmanuel

Oct 25, 2018

am blessed with this sermon, it has really touched my heart, I was struggling with the same attitude of thinking am much superior than others thank you for helping me through, am really inspired, bless you

Eliezer Gonzalez

Oct 24, 2018

That's wonderful to hear, Celine. You are experiencing what it means to grow in grace... to grow in the Lord Jesus. Grace and peace, Eliezer

Robert Nyarkoh

Oct 23, 2018

Thanks for this message


Oct 23, 2018

Thank you Pastor for updating my spiritual growth. blessed afternoon.

Olafenwa Oluwakemi

Oct 23, 2018

I am so much blessed with this write up

Ernest LeVos

Oct 23, 2018

What I read was truly a blessing. Lord, forgive me a new.


Oct 23, 2018

Thank you Pastor! I too grew up in a judgemental environment and now the word of God and the Holy Spirit is helping me in this area. Only recently the Holy Spirit gently told me to love someone who was coming to stay at my house. The person is not a believer and I was not sure if I wanted her to stay and I was listing all the reasons why........ of course because she wasn't a believer......that's when the Holy Spirit gently instructed me to love her..... she had a wonderful week with my family and I.... I obeyed the Holy Spirit and she was able to receive God's love and requested continued prayer.....God is faithful.... I remember always the mercy I receive every day from the Lord which in turn will help me to be merciful.

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