A few weeks back I preached a sermon entitled "Mercy for Me but Not For Thee".  The content of the sermon is probably obvious from the title but it was an eye opener for me.  The text for the sermon was the parable of the unmerciful servant.  In this parable Jesus tells about a king who decided to call all of the people who owed him money to pay their debts.  He brings this servant in who owes Him what the Bible describes as an amount impossible to pay, and demanded the servant to pay.  The servant pleaded with the king for more time to pay and asked for mercy.  The king hearing his pleas for mercy decided to go even farther than giving him more time, he actually cancelled the servants debt.  Wow, talk about mercy.  So how did this servant respond after being given a clean slate?  Was he merciful to others and showing grace to the people around him? Nope, quite the opposite.  Scripture says this servant than went out and found a man who owed him money and this amount was considered very small in comparison to what he had been forgiven of, and he demanded this person pay him.  The man then begged and pleaded for more time to pay, and so this servant was in the very same situation as the king who forgave him, yet this time he did not act like the merciful king.  He demanded the man pay and since the man couldn't pay he threw him in jail until the debt was paid.  The king found out what had happened and called the servant back and chastised him for his unwillingness to show mercy and had him thrown in jail as well. 

So what is this story showing us or trying to tell us?  That's where the title "Mercy for Me but Not for Me" comes into the picture.  We see this parable happen in real life all the time.  Whenever we do offend someone or hurt someone and they confront us about our action we always ask for forgiveness and mercy and hope they don't bring consequences to us.  We beg and plead and hope they give us another chance.  Yet, how do we act when someone wrongs us? What do we do when they are begging for our forgiveness and mercy?  Typically in my experience and as I have witnessed throughout my life I see two  different outcomes.  If someone wrongs me and it is in my power to give mercy and forgiveness I usually want justice and want them to pay for what they did, but when it is me who has offended or wronged someone I hope and beg they don't want justice but will grant me mercy.

It's interesting the double standard we see isn't it? As Christians we have been shown mercy in a way that is indescribable.  God has forgiven us a debt much like the first servant in which he could never repay, yet God has declared that our debt is paid in full.  But we walk around and see evil in the world and see evil happen to us and the first thing we want is justice.  We want that person to get what they deserve and hope they learn their lesson.  But when the shoe is on our foot, do we want justice to be taken on us?  As believers we should be beacons of mercy. When someone wrongs us we should be prepared to             forgive them and not hold what they did against them. We must not forget the debt in which we owed and fully deserved to be punished for not paying and grant that same type of forgiveness to those who offend us.   We must remember what happened on the cross, there was a transaction, in which Jesus paid our debt for us so we can stand before the father debt free.  We need to remember that, so as the next time someone hurts us we don't demand justice on them but yet we grant them mercy and grace, because that is what Jesus did for us.  Let's us seek out mercy and forgiveness and leave justice up to the Lord.