Mercy, Vengeance, and Justice (#900)

"Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent," said political commentator Adam Smith. That quote has been rattling around in Wayne's head for a few weeks, so he invites Kyle to contemplate how justice intersects with mercy inside the heart of God. But first, they talk about how fear imprisons us in our comfort zones and how we can take our first steps beyond our fears to live wholeheartedly. Then, they talk about the complications that mercy can extend cruelty to the victims of the guilty. How does that affect forgiveness for those who have offended or exploited us? More importantly, how might God give mercy and be true to justice at the same time?

Podcast Notes:


  1. Thanks Kyle and Wayne. Please continue to share these conversations as it puts into words my own longing to move into more freedom from my self consciousness. Deep injustices I am navigating means Jesus can win me into greater freedom to see His reality beyond my external circumstances.

  2. You’re welcome, Sue. It also puts langauges to our journeys as well. I discover so much in my conversation switch Kyle and I don’t foresee us stopping any time soon, not as long as the both of us enjoy it… and people like you!

  3. These are the stories that make my Heart soar! These are the stories that I always remember. Perhaps when Jesus spoke those words from the cross; “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing”, There might have been one or more family members of the other two being crucified, hearing those words from Jesus and experiencing some bitterness at the idea that their loved one’s executioners might be forgiven.

    Still today, as Kyle mentioned, the ongoing emergence of miraculous stories of forgiveness continue to fill me spiritually. In listening to your podcast today, I got to thinking about how the extreme Segregationist, Gov. George Wallace, made a radical change in his views on race. Wanting to get more insight on this today, I discovered a newspaper story about when the then African American candidate for president, Shirley Chisholm, came to visit him in the hospital after he had been shot and paralyzed.

  4. A different angle I’ve landed in is feeling comforted that someone would be angry over harm done to me or others.
    It screams that someone cares about what happened to me or that I care about a person being harmed.
    What happened mattered.
    I’ve been told I have fire in my belly – and injustice is not glossed over from my person.
    I know it would have meant so much to me as a child if someone would have come in and vocalized – for me to hear – anger over the wrecking of my heart.
    Where the difference between justice and vengeance comes together for me is that the sin committed will be paid for.
    Either the unrepentant one that caused harm will be sentenced at the Judgement.
    Or, the repentant perpetrator will bow in contrition and let Jesus come through to pay for it.
    The glory of grace is greater than the harm done – if both parties can let go and allow it to heal and see far more of the unseen God than they ever did before.
    This has liberated my heart to take my hands off the neck of those who have hurt me & be confident Jesus will see that justice and vengeance are both addressed – and give me great hope for seeing far greater good than I could imagine.
    Being aware of harm I’ve done to others and learning to own it and experience forgiveness opens doors to extend to others their path to mercy.
    But as you say, if they’ve stuck to their harmful patterns, the red flag is up.
    I’m harming them to let them keep harming.

    As so many in the world are harmed and the final days seem like they are here – my heart asks Heaven how They can watch all this and not weep and ache.
    The anger and rage of God so oft spoken in the Old Testament are not a stretch to imagine with all the injustice & harm with impunity that goes on.
    I find myself wanting to sit and be with Heaven to join with Them through this – sort of like Gethsemane when Jesus so needed His guys to be there with Him in His agony.
    Perhaps this helps me as I cannot contain the overwhelming amount of injustice and harm we read about or see.
    Heaven can contain it and just being in it with Them helps me endure it.
    But MARANATHA for sure.

    May this have had some semblance of coherence – it’s hard to pull my thoughts together.
    Thank you for being there with such relevant and heart-stimulating conversations.
    I’m grateful to not hear you might be hanging up your mic for other things as you were earlier this year:-).

  5. I’m so, so sorry for what happened to you, and I understand how comforting it can be when someone shares our anger over some horrible injustice. I’ll be the first to admit I have no idea how Father sorts this out, now and at the end of the Age, but I trust him to do it. In the meantime, I know we are left with a world where evil seems to prevail, where the greedy get the goods, and the humble are overrun by the powerful. I know we are to keep praying that his will be done here as it is in heaven, until the day when the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our God. It’s not easy being in that space. I pray God bring healing and comfort to you and others who are so oppressed and misused by others through no fault of their own. Blessings to you, Sister!

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