“Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.” Proverbs 3:3-4
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” Luke 2:52
Our Lord found favor with man. The common people heard Him gladly. Our Lord didn’t just proclaim truth, He practiced Mercy. Some people overemphasize one at the expense of the other. Mercy and Truth must be blended.
It’s very easy to emphasize truth while forgetting mercy. The Lord found favor with man not merely for proclaiming truth, but by the WAY He presented it.
Truth is important. But we should be conscious that we don’t have all the truth. God doesn’t speak to us the way he spoke to the Apostles of old. We have copies of the Scripture, translation issues to deal with, historical customs to consider, and figures of speech to grapple with. That means we are learning and growing as we go.
We believe Scripture. However, since God doesn’t speak to us directly from heaven today, we should hold many of our interpretations loosely. There are some things we are still ignorant of that will be uncovered as we “search and see.” That means we will have to revise our previous interpretations.
Hold the truth. Don’t let it forsake thee. But hold mercy too – especially mercy. After all, as I said before, we haven’t received direct communication from God, so we’re all on equal footing. Believers are to search and see, discuss Scripture, and rejoice in God together. Speak the truth in love. This is how we will find favor in the sight of God and men – AND MEN!
Some people think that they are God’s chosen to “defend” His truth. They think the only way that can be done is by calling others out and offending people. Those who act this way aren’t God’s champions; they are only over-emphasizing their own importance. They are “proclaiming themselves, not Christ Jesus the Lord.” As the Proverb says, “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?”
God doesn’t consider self-appointed men faithful. These merciless men are only faithful to themselves.