Measuring with Mercy

I am a Martha, I admit it. I should be a Mary. But to me, black is black and white is white; right is right and wrong is wrong. Is my judgmental spirit showing yet? “Come on! Pull up your socks! Do the right thing, at the right time,” according to …. uh… ME!”

But then God spoke.

While building a set for an Easter pageant, we found ourselves short of greenery to fill in some bare spots. I suggested that we use the beautiful, luscious ferns that adorned our church foyer. One of my fellow set builders informed me that they were off limits according to the “plant” lady, and we were not allowed to use them.

I promptly put my hands on my hips, squared off, and said in my rather stern fashion, “Well, who died and made her boss?” The Lord instantly replied to my spirit in an audible voice, “The same one who died and made you judge.”


With a very broken heart, the life-changing journey began. The Lord revealed to me that I used two very different yardsticks with which I measured His free gifts of mercy and grace.

The one I used to measure myself was infinitely long and very flexible, but the one I used to measure others was more like a six-inch ruler and extremely rigid. Jesus gently reminded me that I could not have it both ways.

woman measuring fabric

A mom measuring fabric in the Dominican Republic

If I was bent on judging others with a short, rigid stick, then He would use that same measure for me.

Need to examine your measuring sticks? Need a heart adjustment? Jesus has given us absolute freedom though His powerful purifying blood. Don’t shackle His mercy and grace by your harsh judgment of the Marys in your life.

Live free! Measure with mercy!

So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. There will no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you. —James 2:12–13, NLT

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your free gifts of mercy and grace. Help us to see and love others as you do and to joyfully give your mercy and grace away. Amen.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nancy Mitchell works as a Quality Assurance Specialist at the Global Ministry Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Read all the One in Spirit devotionals.

2 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Cindy Fox September 26, 2012

    Dear Nancy:

    Praise God for you! Thank you for sharing these important, meaningful thoughts with us. They hit home with me. God bless you richly!

  2. Ian Lyall September 25, 2012

    I use a strict measure on myself too often. but I’m strict with others too. Lord teach me a lesson in grace!

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