“Mercy" (kindness NASB) (2617a) is a quality that I am working on. This word in the OT is the word that is translated “loving-kindness” and to me is an OT combination of grace and agape. It is a quality of the character of God and it is expected of us. It is listed in the love chapter:
I Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, (NASB)It is part of the fruit of the Spirit. It should be a large part of our lives.
I have found that kindness is one of the qualities of love that I had not been cultivating. I was aware of patience but it was too easy for me to make the cutting remark that is so typical of a lack of kindness. Even here in the OT we are seeing the demand for a certain type of person. I had a discussion this week where a non-believer brought up the idea that the God of the OT was different from Jesus. Not so.
“Kindness” (2617a) and “truth” (571) go together. So many people today want to abandon truth because they feel it is too harsh or will offend people. Of course people like me want to abandon kindness because we know we are right. God binds them together. Kindness may make us express the truth more carefully and thoughtfully, but it does not separate us from it.
Do not even dare to separate truth from its meaning. We live in a world of relativism. People are redefining the meaning of words. The post modern thinking believes that truth is different for each of us and that words mean what the person wants them to mean. This is another subtle attack on the gospel and the One who said He was the “way, the truth, and the life.” Don’t forget the next part: “No man comes to the father but through Me.” Truth is eternal. Truth exists.
Micah 6:8 links justice and kindness. Here it is truth and kindness. Truth and justice go together. They cannot stand alone, although our culture is trying to pretend that they can.