God treats us much, much better than we deserve. That fundamental, undergirding spiritual truth is the reality of grace. He has seen us in our sin and had mercy on us because of his great love for us (see Romans 5:6-11). Even though we have repeatedly proved unfaithful and undependable, both individually and as a group, God has been gracious and merciful. He has repeatedly offered forgiveness, help, redemption, and salvation when we least deserved it. Rather than dealing with us strictly as law would demand, God has dealt with us as a loving father does with his children. This conditioning reality must show up in us also. How can we claim to be his children and not be merciful? How can we call for retribution against our brothers and sisters, when fairness would demand we pay a great penalty for our sin? In the Kingdom family, mercy rules. When that mercy is forgotten by us, then God has promised to use our standard of mercilessness when he judges us (Matthew 7:1-2). Yet as long as we are merciful to others, God will show us mercy.
Holy and righteous Father, I confess that I often want justice when I am violated and mercy when I sin. Thank you for not treating me as I deserve, but instead providing Jesus to be the atoning sacrifice that extends your mercy to me and fulfills your justice on my behalf. Soften my heart that I may reflect your grace and mercy in my dealings with those who have injured me. In the precious name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.