“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” -Abraham Lincoln
In fourth grade I had two teachers, Mrs. Borque and Mrs. Horseradish (name changed). Together they were an unlikely pair—day and night, sweet and sour, good cop and bad cop! Both teachers were affective in taming a loud and lively class. Mrs. Borque was so nice that her class wanted to obey her, but Mrs. Horseradish was so mean that her class feared what would happen if we disobeyed her. Similarly there are two opposing views of God’s nature: One a merciful and gracious Being and the other a just and wrathful God. One view of God’s nature espouses love and the other fear—both of which are supported in Scripture. Experiencing the wrath of Mrs. Horseradish made me appreciate the grace of Mrs. Borque all the more! While a fear of God sometimes keeps us on the straight and narrow (Prov. 9:10), the love of God causes us to want to be our best and be an extension of His love.
Some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear…(Jude 1:22-23, NKJV).