The Pride Crushing Reality of Divine Mercy

20 03 2006

Guys never like to ask for help.  We would rather drive around for an hour trying to find our way rather than humble ourselves and ask for directions.  I experienced this recently with some friends in So. California as we were attempting to reunite with members of our party.  The problem was that none of us had any idea of where we were going. Instead of asking for help we all tried to rely on various educated guesses to get us there.  We even proudly turned to technology, as a friend was carrying his Sprint Trio which enabled us to try to get intermediate directions.  Eventually…we had to humbly call for help.

There is a great parallel here for the believer, the recipient of divine mercy. Implicit in the cry for mercy is the cry of humility.  The cry of  “God give me mercy!” is the cry “God I am lost!” For this was the cry of the humble publican in contrast to the arrogant Pharisee in Luke’s gospel:

Luke 18:13 “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’

Cross-bought mercy fills the open hand of faith. It is mercy that comes to the lowly, the contrite, the one who’s hope is not on himself.

Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.

This crushes our pride but in so doing it exalts the gracious mercy of God.

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