MERCY or JUSTICE? We often see them as opposites. When someone does something particularly bad we want justice in its harshest and most direct form to be there waiting for them. We tend to see justice as hard but righteous punishment reserved for those who we feel deserve it. Mercy is perceived differently. Often when we think of being merciful, there is a sense of pity or compassion, because we want it applied to those who we feel deserve “a break.” The problem? Too often our thinking and actions regarding justice and mercy are based on our emotional reaction to the situation at hand. Too often we misrepresent what justice really means and how mercy really works. The good news is that God has given us all of the necessary guidelines to not only define but to live by just thinking and merciful response.