Righteousness or Mercy?

Aug 18, 2009

“We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.”
~ Daniel 9:18b

Mercy is on my mind. I crave mercy like air. Gulping big chunks of it as if it might run out or be disbursed to someone else if I don’t grab hold of my share. I know I need mercy. And when I start to forget, I usually do something monumentally inane and remind myself of the fact all over again.

Sometimes, however, when I pour out my requests like a endless shopping list to the great Wal-Mart in the sky, I’m not thinking about mercy. Instead, I’m thinking about how much I deserve what I’m asking for. How hard I’ve worked to be a good girl. How much overtime I’ve spent serving and studying and sitting real pretty like in a pew. After all, I know what’s best for my children. My family. My life. And I want what I want. Don’t I get extra credit for good behavior?

It didn’t occur to me how self-righteous I can be with God until I read Daniel’s prayer in chapter 9. A righteous man if I’ve ever seen one, and still he spends 15 verses with bent knees and a contrite heart, taking responsibility for a nation of ninnies and falling on the mercy of a holy God. Instead of propping himself (which he could’ve easily done with a resume like his), he humbles himself.

And God notices.

“Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.”
~ Daniel 10:12

Want to be heard? It may be counter-cultural, but try humility on for size. A mind and heart and spirit that are propped up on nothing—NOTHING—but the great mercy of a wonderful God.


  1. Chrystie

    What a great post! Literally minutes before reading your post, I was talking with a friend of mine about this exact thing. Love it! Thanks!

  2. Susan

    You are right. Humility is so counter-cultural, When I was in the work place, we got counciled to “toot your own horn.” Those who seem to get ahead lack humility and use others as stepping stones.
    It is a comfort that God hears and is merciful!

  3. Michele

    I love it when that happens, Chrystie! BTW, been enjoying your blog. Keep writing!


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