“To understand mercy and grace, you need to understand perspective. From My perspective, everyone I observe who is not functioning as Jesus does is simply not capable of doing so. I fully understand that. If they have never accepted Him as their Lord, they obviously have not been born of My Spirit; and, therefore, have no capability to understand His love. How can they function any way other than to follow their flesh? How can they do anything but follow their carnal nature and the world’s ways? All of their actions, thoughts, and decisions can only come from basic instincts, which draw from their sin nature that has not been renewed. That is why I pursue them so ardently. I see their hopeless situation and extend mercy and grace toward them so they might know better. I understand their incapability of doing any differently. So should you. It is the same with My church.
"For many reasons, as stated in My Word, My love is extended toward those who are not functioning in the fullness of the love of Jesus. One reason is, again, My seeing that they can do nothing more than function within the wisdom they have received. Functioning any way other than that is impossible until more of My wisdom is received by them, more of the depth of My Spirit. There is an accountability for what is known; there is mercy and grace for what is not yet known. You must function in the same manner toward one another. Instead of judgment and condemnation toward those who offend you, you need to understand that most immature actions come from an immature heart.
"As a child is not expected to function beyond his years, do not expect someone to function beyond the depth of his relationship with Me. Extend mercy, extend grace, knowing that your fellow believer is on his way to learning more of My ways, the same as you are. He is flowing in My mercy every step of the way. So are you as you grow. Be gracious to your brother and sister as they grow. Forgive, and then forgive again and again and again for as long as it is needed. Your perspective will change as you understand their limits and their incapability of functioning any other way. More depth and maturity is not “in” them or they would not offend. They couldn’t if they were flowing in My Spirit. When you understand this, forgiveness, mercy, and grace toward them comes easily. You are free from any hold that the spiritual immaturity of their actions would have on you.”
Romans 15:1-7 NIV
1) We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
2) Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.
3) For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”
4) For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
5) May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,
6) so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7) Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Someone once said that we judge others by their actions; we judge ourselves by our intent. When we falter because of our immaturity - which leads us to a false perspective and into carnal behavior - we desire mercy, grace, and understanding.
When others around us falter, the extending of mercy, grace, and forgiveness is normally subject to whether they ask for our forgiveness or not; rather than understanding their incapability of doing anything differently. What if it is impossible for them to ask for forgiveness because their spirit is so badly wounded? Is it our Father’s will to hold back His love toward them when that is exactly what is needed for them to be healed? Would He hold back His love toward us if we had the same wounds, or would that deep love keep us coming to Him until we were healed - actually so that we can be healed?
We don’t get it. When Jesus was walking with His apostles, He never condemned them for their lack of understanding. Here He was, a perfect man, knowing all there is to know, walking with very imperfect men and loving them deeply - right where they were.
To carry that thought past those with whom He chose to walk and on to those who hated Him, He forgave them from the cross because He understood they knew no better. He was dying for their inability to function any differently. He laid down His life so that they could, first of all, be born anew; and then, so that they could begin their travel on a road to see more and more clearly the ways of His Father. His perfect perspective responded to their need, rather than to their sin against Him.
Needing to see clearly and respond Your way, Lord,