Let Not Mercy and Truth Forsake Thee

Editorial - Michael Smith

Let Not Mercy and Truth Forsake Thee

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart. —Proverbs 3:3

Dear reader, I exhort you as did Solomon, “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee.” Clearly, our world is in the gross darkness of sin, and there is a need for the light of truth to shine brightly. Cleave to the truth and live it, but not to truth alone. Cling also to mercy. It was the mercy of God that saved us, and the mercy we show others will point them to the hope that is in Christ Jesus.

The subject this quarter is ‘Mercy.’ I was profoundly touched as I studied the scripture and meditated on this topic. There is a wealth of verses that teach and demonstrate the necessity and importance of mercy. It is noteworthy that more is said about the importance of mercy than many of the doctrinal subjects which some people hold. As noted above, let us cleave to the truth, but we must not forsake mercy.

Without the mercy of God, none of us would be saved. We did not deserve God’s love and yet He loved us. Even after we start our journey for the Lord, it is His mercy that keeps us, for we all make mistakes and err. Victorious living is a Bible standard, and this writing in no way lends itself to compromise or substandard living; YET how many of us have never had to return to the Lord and ask Him for forgiveness? I was saved by His mercy, and I am where I am today only by the gracious mercy that He has extended to me for my faults and shortcomings. Since living for God is a life of growth, there will always be places where we need His mercy.

As I reflect on the mercy that God has had on people through the years, I am amazed and challenged in my life. I clearly remember coming back from a mission trip and thinking, “I am finished. I will not be coming back to these carnal people.” God spoke to me and reminded me of the parable of the fig tree recorded in Luke 13. God was not finished, and I saw a glimpse into the depth of His mercy. Incidentally, my own mercy was extended by His grace.

In the religious world, you will find many liberal, compromised fellowships touting love and mercy while teaching little truth. That is wrong. It is just as wrong to wave the banner of truth and holiness without a spirit of mercy. When a village of the Samaritans rejected a visit from Christ, the disciples wanted to call down fire on them. Jesus said, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of” (Luke 9:55). I have observed a judgmental spirit among too many professing “holiness” people. When the norm for people to measure others critically, there is a lack of love and mercy. The irony is that it can be difficult to have mercy on judgmental people.

It is a blessing in our own lives and in the lives of others to be merciful. Mercy is more than a doctrine; it is the practical application of loving, forgiving, longsuffering, seeking for reconciliation, etc. May God help us all seek to be more merciful and less judgmental without sacrificing truth.

Michael W. Smith

April 2024