“Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment”

It just kind of crept up on me- this amazing statement of the apostle James. It jumped right out of the inspired page into my heart. Such is the nature of bold, dynamic, life-changing truth. Set in the context of demonstrating favoritism and of judging by mere appearance- here are his wonderful words:


Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!” (2:12-13)


Apparently James’ contemporaries struggled with judging as much as we do today. They were trying to play God and, predictably, failing miserably. Yet this beat goes on as we bow to the “image is everything” culture. Got money, fame, looks or special giftedness? Here take these cushy seats up front. For all the rest of you unattractive, no-talent poor folks grab a piece of the floor in the back there. (See James 2:1-11)


No mercy- just judging. Are we guilty? Remember “mercy triumphs over judgment” Do we get it?


  • Mercy offers more than judgment– Judging usually accompanies prejudice, bitterness, pride and hatred. Mercy is connected to grace, forgiving and hope. Judging usually delivers an unjust final verdict while mercy offers another chance and a fresh start. Which reflects heaven the best?
  • Fair judgments lead to mercy– When it comes to judging we always need to make sure we “judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24) and this should be only after we know the facts and consider the situation. This is not a harsh, snap judgment. It is a concerned response full of mercy intended to heal, help and deliver hope.
  • Mercy is what we need! – Where would any of us be without the tremendous mercy of God? Through mercy God gives us what we need- not what we deserve. It is all a part of the “law that gives freedom”. How selfish of us not to pass on this wonderful gift- and how shortsighted- for if we fail to pass it on we will fail to receive it.  

Take James at his word. Let him speak to your heart. Speak and act as one who appreciates mercy. It- and all who honor it- will triumph in the end.


11 Responses to “Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment”

  1. Donna says:

    I love this phrase…you know Jesus used it a lot too…but I never really noticed the part about giving mercy being vital to being judged with mercy…seems like that would open a lot of “closed”minds….

  2. xybatt says:

    Unfortunately, it seems that you get more blog responses when we can beat each other up………

    Reminds me of the old commercial. “I’d rather fight than switch”

    Seems like hosea quoted “I desire mercy, not sacrifice”

  3. “Mercy triumphs over judgment!” Why, then, do we feel we have to be judgmental to be “sound?”

    Jesus said the merciful are blessed by receiving mercy. If I need mercy (and I most certainly do!), I need to give mercy.

    He also said that I will be judged in the same way I judge others. Hmmm. Does this mean that if I judge with mercy I will be judged with mercy – but if I judge with disdain I will be disdained? Sure seems that way to me.

    Great post, Danny! Keep ’em coming.

  4. Darren Beachy says:

    Great post! I like what St Paul tells us; we are working with incomplete knowledge. In other words, we lack the knowledge to make judgments.

  5. dannydodd says:

    Donna, you would think so.

    Jim, I guess folks are more drawn to alarm bells ringing.

    Good question Jerry! I appreciate both your and Darren’s encouragment.

  6. benoverby says:

    One are that this sort of errant judgment manifests itself is in the choices often made for church leadership. The rich and well connected go to the front of the line as elders. Business smarts and fat bank accounts don’t equal spiritual leadership ability (neither does it negate it).

    Also, we shouldn’t take James’ use of the word judgment in his letter and make it do more than it’s supposed to do as it seems some would do. We’d better read Paul in 1 Co. 5 and on into the first port of chapter 6. If we don’t know how to make judgments we are going to be serious trouble on the day of “judgment.” In fact, everyone who’s commented on this post has rendered a judgment. There’s nothing wrong with that, unless our judgment is that we’re incapble of rendering a judgment, at which case we dissolve into the wind. Heck, it was James’ judgment that we need to offer mercy rather than a particular sort of judgment.

  7. markemo says:

    In my life I have received both:mercy and judgement. All I know is that mercy feels so much better and has longer lasting results. And, in my life there have been times when I poured out judgement and spooned out mercy, and all I ended up doing was judging myself. So, truly, Mercy does triumph over judgement. Thanks for a thoughtful post.

  8. Rinaldo says:

    thanks for posting!

  9. Samson says:

    This message is really for me.I need God’s mercy bcos i’ve cmmitted a lot of abominatns.Good job.

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