September 10

Text: Matthew 25:46

"And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."  (NASB)

Mercy is a wonderful concept!  In mercy, there exists forgiveness, second chances, and the waiver of responsibility.  In many situations, there is literally no substitute for mercy.  In those situations, justice simply does not work.  Absolute human justice becomes decidedly unfair!  However, mercy is a blessing only to those who value mercy’s opportunities!

Accountability is also a wonderful thing!  It demands we be responsible when we are tempted to be irresponsible.  Were it not for accountability, societies would not work.  Accountability declares to each of us we need to be respectful of law—even when we are not respectful of people!  People who value people do not need laws—they seek to do what is right even if there is no law.  When we do not respect people, we tend to migrate toward our worst self who functions thoughtlessly of others.

Consider a simple illustration.  What would happen if there were no traffic laws?  How long would it take to get through intersections?  How fast can one go over the speed limit without being stopped by law enforcement?  Where do you set your cruise control on the interstate highway?  What is the basic purpose of radar detection equipment in land vehicles?  Is the problem “getting caught”—the person is “right” if he/she does not get caught?

Do wrecks destroy other people’s property?  Send them to the hospital?  Kill them?  Do “little laws” not apply to “me,” only “big laws”?  Is the use of cell phones and distracted driving a big or little problem?

According to Jesus, what was the second greatest command God gave?  Second only to what?

Suggestion for reflection: Should people only obey laws they like?  (Read 1 Peter 3:13-17.)

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