[ Passion Spirituality – Intimacy with Jesus ]

Seeking Mercy

Jesus was falsely accusedHave you ever been accused unmercifully? Whether we have been rightly reprimanded (like the woman found in adultery in John 8:1-11) or falsely accused (like Jesus on Good Friday), we feel terribly invalidated when we have to endure condemnation without forgiveness.

If there is any validity to the accusation, if our sin is genuine, feeling remorseful does not make it easier to accept the harsh reactions of others, so our first instinct is to defend ourselves rather than admit our guilt, and we try to rationalize away or minimize our sins. We want to protect ourselves from a crushing sense of guilt.

Does it really work, though? No, only mercy can protect us. Only mercy can validate our worth. Without it, we try to manipulate people into liking us and approving of us and affirming us. The more we sin, the more desperate we become for other people’s approval. And the more desperate we become, the less remorse we feel for what we’ve done wrong, because remorse is a feeling that says we deserve disapproval.

To fill the emptiness and heal the wound, we must know that we are forgiven and accepted for who we are.

When we are falsely accused, we feel no less empty and invalidated. We are at the mercy of others and they have rejected us. Their opinions still matter to us. We hunger for affirmation. We tend to defend ourselves and offend those who accused us, which converts our innocence into selfishness and pride and unloving behavior.

To fill this emptiness and heal this wound, we must know that we are protected by the mercy of God.

No one can validate us like God can. In truth, it is only God’s opinion of us that matters. He alone knows what is in our hearts. He alone loves us no matter what we do.

Mercifully, He says, “I do not condemn you. I love you. Sin no more, but be assured that avoiding sin is not a requirement to receive My love.”

When we grasp the fidelity of God’s steady, unending, fuller-than-full love for us, we are freed from the need to be validated by people. And when we are freed from this, we become free to love others even when they sin. We become like Jesus, full of compassion and mercy, saying to those who sin against us, “I do not condemn you. I forgive you.”

Forgiveness is an act of mercy, not of justice. Repentance purifies us and helps us grow in holiness, but repentance is not a requirement to receive God’s love. Likewise, we forgive others not because they repent (some never will), but because God has been merciful to us. As we have received mercy, we give mercy.

© 2002 by Terry A. Modica


Intimacy with Jesus
tableOfContents

Healing in Christ’s Passionate LoveGet the whole set of WordBytes on Intimacy with Jesus in the printable ebook Healing in Christ’s Passionate Love. Order it now from Catholic Digital Resources!

 

More WordBytes on Lenten Topics >>

Go to WordBytes home page for more faith-building topics >>

Find more faith-builders by visiting the Good News Ministries home page >>

Also see Terry Modica’s books >>

 

Have you been falsely accused?

Free Download!A free PDF document of this is available for your own personal use.

donateHowever, your support can help us continue to provide faith-building resources like this.

For sharing with others, please order it professionally published from Catholic Digital Resources. *** Can’t pay for it? No worries! Apply for a free gift voucher, which is our charitable donation to your ministry.

To obtain the document with a Single User License, please submit this copyright contract agreement. See our copyright usage permissions policy.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

1 Comment
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Vivian
Vivian
Guest
January 26, 2022 6:45 am

Thank you Terry for this. I have been holding someone on my heart for a long time, doing all I could to hurt them. I have learnt better now. I feel so bad for the way I treated them. Learning about the mercy and love of God today has increased my love for that person. Truly as we have received mercy, we should give mercy. I feel free!