“The pearl of justice is found in the heart of mercy.”
St. Catherine of Siena
Open book tests delivered good news and bad news to my mind. I no sooner thought, Yes, I don’t have to study as hard or memorize the material, when this thought Oh, no, open book tests are harder, permeated my mind. Micah 6:8 is an example of an open book test from God. “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
With the Bible opened to that verse, we can know specifically what God’s good requirements are for His children. There is no doubt in my mind how to please God and how He desires that I obey Him in these particular ways. Yet, like an open book test, it’s not necessarily easy. We’ve got the answers, but now we need God’s empowerment to walk in obedience. Based on this passage, God desires us to do three things: Act justly, Love mercy and Walk humbly with our God.
To act justly means to have all that you do be fair and equitable; no favoritism allowed. How can we be upright, honorable, conscientious and honest? As moms, how can we treat our children fairly, without showing favoritism? As people, are we walking with integrity and are we doing what is morally right?
To love mercy is God’s next instruction. Mercy is not getting what we deserve. How can we display kindness or compassion to those who have offended us? Instead of taking revenge or retaliating, the Holy Spirit helps us forgive those who have hurt us. Anger consumed me when my dad left mom to get a divorce. No way am I going to forgive my dad! Then God flashed before my eyes various ways I had sinned against Him and others and how He forgave me even when I didn’t deserve it. My heart softened, I extended mercy and forgave my dad.
To walk humbly with our God is the last answer on our open book test on how to please Him. Humility is the opposite of arrogance or pride. When we walk humbly with our God, our hand holds onto His and our stride is in sync with His, not running ahead nor lagging behind in disobedience. Instead of choosing to serve ourselves or be me-focused, we desire to minister to others. Philippians 2:3-4 says it best. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Is there any area we are being presumptuous towards God or others?
Micah 6:8 is not an easy assignment to obey. But when we follow His instructions we know the teacher will be pleased with our answers.
“Mercy imitates God and disappoints Satan.”
St. John Chrysostom
Which mandate from God will you focus on this week: Act justly, Love mercy or Walk humbly with your God? Specifically, what will that look like?