Mercy for the Doubters

Be merciful to those who doubt. - Jude 22

Often our first reaction towards those who struggle or doubt can be to try to fix them. Perhaps we do that because we’re uncertain about how to sit in the tension that rises from their suffering or questioning. Perhaps we do it because our jobs require us to be fixers, so we are just employing our skills in other fields because it comes naturally. Or perhaps we try to fix them because we’re scared that their emotional, physical, or existential anguish may be contagious some way.

For those of us who call ourselves Christians, there’s a higher calling. Jude nails it in a single short verse (it’s just five words in the original Greek). “Be merciful” is a long ways from fixing, fearing, or fleeing. Mercy requires that we engage deeply and it means letting the one in pain be the one who sets the agenda. Mercy means we’re grounded in our own relationship with God so that there’s a surplus of mercy in our lives to extend to those who need it. Interestingly, the verse just before the command to have mercy on the doubters is this: “keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ“ (Jude 21). It assumes that we’re rooted in God’s love and mercy so that we have the resources to extend mercy to others.

So who is it in your life today who doubts? What would it look like for you to extend mercy to them? Talk with Jesus about these things.