Long life and peace. Those sound pretty good…don’t they? What would it take to be sure you could live peacefully and longer? Eat your vegetables and get plenty of exercise and sunshine…right? Yep, those are good pieces of advice. And you can find that sort of information everywhere…in health food stores, magazines, and don’t forget the magical internet. But I’d like to go to the source of life…God. What does He suggest for long life and peace? Would you believe mercy and truth? Those 2 things rank with God. Wanna know more? Keep reading…
There’s a place in the Bible where it specifically says, “Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them down on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.”
That’s why I say mercy and truth can make God’s eyes twinkle. And did you notice the last two words from that Bible verse? “And man”. You can also find favor and high esteem when you are merciful and truthful with your fellow human beings. While punishment is necessary for doing bad things, mercy is even more necessary for changing hearts. And truth is the only way to determine which is needed for individual circumstances.
Then, there’s that whole “long life and peace” part. You’d like that, wouldn’t you? I know I wanna live as long as I can…and with as much peace as I can find in this life. So, what does God say about that? He says, “My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life AND peace they will add to you.”
Now, you might be thinking, “oh brother…there’s all those laws of Christian religion again.” How are you supposed to remember them all…right? Good news. Jesus condensed all the laws into 2 simple ones anybody can remember…
Love the Lord your God. And…love your neighbor as yourself. 2 laws.
You can easily remember them, and if you keep them, they’ll add long life and peace to your existence. Being a Christian, I can suggest looking at the big picture. In the short term, you might not experience much peace. And you might not live a long life. But when you show God’s mercy and truth to your fellow human beings, you’re following His loving guidance. And that puts you on the path to eternal life (which is really, really long) in paradise (which is a place of total peace).
What do you say? Will you show someone mercy and truth today? Or maybe you can show one person mercy who needs it…and share truth with another person who needs that even more. Either way, will you? If so, let me know about it. And here’s a rhyme to help you remember…
Hang mercy and truth, like a necklace,
Around your neck with a smile.
Let them be seen by the world in between
Salvation and endless exile.