"Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart"
As followers of Christ we live in very torn world. We exist in this broken society where self is glorified, and yet we are called to deny self and live for a bigger, better reality where Christ is the center. We have to live knowing "the Truth" and live accordingly and yet love "the world.".
You know, I always used to read proverbs and think "they should probably rename this book broken record. Yah yah, do what is right, don't do what is wrong, blah, blah, blah"( yah, its ok, i'm forgiven) But this one proverb has really shaped my life in the past couple months.
Let not mercy and truth NEVER leave you.
these are two critically important and unwavering themes of the Christian life. Mercy and truth. Yet, they are very different and sometimes difficult ideas to grasp together and practice parallelly. Of course they spur on one another once we choose to embrace these radical ideas. Mercy will lead us into truth and the truth will spur us onto mercy. But living in congruence with both has proved quite arduous.
The problem lies in the way we live this out around the people around us. You see, when you are around a group of people who have not been introduced to Jesus, it would be most advantageous for us and Jesus' kingdom to let them experience both, but we need to have more mercy to make our relationship with God seem appealing, because honestly, the truth can be a little hard to swallow sometimes. On the other end of things when we are in our Jesuscentric circles we need to have more truth in order to keep ourselves disciplined. I think the Christianese term is "rebuke." So, I'm guessing that overall its about discernment and keeping in step with the Spirit. We all should be watching our Holy Spirit meter to see where we should dispense mercy and truth and what the concoction of each wil look like.