“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh” (Romans 9:1-3)
Paul gave his all for a religious system that didn’t produce the righteousness he was after. The experience of many echoes Paul’s. We were part of the club. We played by the rules. But we came to find out that there was no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We had been led down a dead end road.
Our mouths can be full of cursing and bitterness towards those who have failed us. But what Paul received in Christ was more than the power to keep the law of God; he was given the power to walk in the heart of God.
God is righteous. He is also merciful. His merciful heart displays His righteousness. Paul would not have been righteous had he not been merciful toward his kinsman. Yes, they were deceived and deceiving others; yes, the most zealous amongst them hated and persecuted him; but he once walked in their shoes. Should one who had been forgiven much not forgive much? Should one who received great mercy not show great mercy?
If we are to be filled with all the fullness of God we will not only hate evil, we will delight in mercy. Our heart will break with the things that break God’s heart. Mercy will rejoice over judgment. There will be no condemnation toward those who are out of the way. There will be “great heaviness and continual sorrow” in our heart, and a cry to a just and merciful God to have mercy.