Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man. – Proverbs 3:3-4
At a recent event, as I looked up, I saw two women staring at me and laughing. Questions took personal roll call in my mind. “Is something wrong with my attire?” “Are they talking about me?” “Do they even like me?” Ever been there? For some, this is a non-event. Yet, for me, and others who have a history with gossip’s punches, insecurity rises up on the inside and minimizes our identity. Often, insecurity acts as a filter, blurring the facts. With my heavy heart, I went to Jesus to share my feelings with Him. Prompted to read the above verse, I asked myself this question:
How would a filter of mercy and truth work when insecurity rears its ugly head?
God paints a lovely word picture in Proverbs 3. Imagine wearing a one-of-a-kind necklace inscribed with the words ”mercy” and ”truth”. Necklaces are visible reminders of something we treasure. Often, necklaces rest over the heart. God desires that we treasure both mercy and truth, keeping them close to our hearts. Truth consists of only the facts. So, a truth filter acknowledges an offense, because it happened. And, mercy chooses to treat the offender better than he or she deserves.
As I looked at this event through God’s filters, mercy and truth, my heart felt lighter. The truth – I don’t know if the women were gossiping about me or not. For this conversation, let’s suppose they were. That’s where the mercy filter sharpened my vision. God says that we are to love our enemies and do good to those who hurt us. So, I imagined greeting them at the next event, engaging them with sincere questions. Rather than feeling diminished inside, I saw my insecurities shrinking instead. In exchange for a heavy, insecure heart, Jesus gave me His heart for these women and for myself. Mercy definitely triumphs over judgment!
If we look to God to meet our needs, we are free to love people, rather than looking to them to fill the needs only God can fill.
A song of our worth, because The King of Heaven wants us – by Tenth Avenue North: “Control”