Mercy and Truth

by | Jun 11, 2024 | Guest Writers

By Douglas Glada

Proverbs 3:3, 4 – Let not mercy and truth forsake you, bind them about your neck; write them upon the tablet of your heart. So shall you find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

      God’s Word consistently brings us back to our responsibility. The pendulum, that swings between those who stress the sovereignty of God and those who stress the free will of man, is always brought back to the middle. Of course, God is sovereign in that He is in ultimate control but, obviously, He is not in control of all my daily choices. A quick inventory of the food I ate, and the words I spoke this week, may be an enlightening example.

      Mercy and truth are to be closely united in our lives. Most of us identify with one or the other, but a delicate balance between them is to be maintained. Those who are motivated by mercy simply desire to bring relief from suffering and hardship wherever they see it; their first thoughts are compassion and concern. Quite often they are misunderstood as being too soft and may be told that they need to practice a more tough kind of love. Those who are motivated by truth, however, tend to be on the other end of that spectrum. They see reasons and causes for the difficulties people find themselves in. They rush to correct and fix the problem, and then insist that people change. These people, likewise, may be misunderstood, in that they may appear judgmental and uncaring, and they are often encouraged to be a little more sensitive to others. 

      The reality is we need the balance of mercy and truth. All of life, whether in the home, the workplace, the school, or the church, necessitates the balanced application of both. Our experience of parenting has taught us that fact. There are times when your children simply need mercy; they need to be drawn into your arms and consoled no matter what has happened or whose fault it is. Conversely, there are times when your children need the application of truth and to be confronted and challenged to change their bad attitude. It is all based on the needs of the child and what is best for him, or her.

      Our verse tells us to not let mercy or truth forsake us, strongly implying that both can get away from us. We are to bind them closely to us and fix them upon our lives. Most Christians do not like the word bind because it sounds like bondage and restriction. However, there is a positive type of binding that fastens these critical elements to us so they can become an essential part of our lives. 

      After we have bound them to our life, we are to write them upon the tablet of our hearts. The picture here is of a stone tablet that can only be inscribed upon by using a chisel. Our English word character comes from a Greek word which means; that which is engraved. The only way to ensure that mercy and truth do not get away from us is to have them inscribed on our inner man, chiselled into the rock inside, thus making them an integral aspect of our character.

      When mercy and truth are activated in our lives it opens the door for God’s favour to be shown. His favour is His pleasure, expressed in acts of kindness. As a parent, you know how great you feel when your children act respectfully and carry themselves well. It pleases you, and when Dad is pleased, among other things, he opens his wallet. Our Heavenly Father has even more to offer and He loves to express His pleasure in giving extraordinary gifts to His children. 

      Someone has once said that if they had favour, wisdom and courage, they could accomplish almost anything. God’s favour isn’t just with Him, but also with other people. Having favour doesn’t mean that everyone will necessarily love you, but that they will do things for you even if they don’t like you, or understand why they are doing it. If you have favour with the right people, all kinds of doors will open wide for you to go through. Friends, as we continue to develop the qualities of mercy and truth, we should also go ahead and start expecting God to open doors of favour and blessing. Thank God for His mercy and truth!


  1. I enjoyed the dive into mercy and truth and subsequent meditation on the times when I had it, and when I did not have mercy or truth. What I found most engaging in this devotion was exploring how activating mercy and truth can lead to experiencing God’s favor and blessings in our lives and relationships.

    For the first time that I recall, I considered how ‘favour’ was activated by me for others because I respected them in some way and, how I’ve received favour and enjoyed the blessing of that in business or personal life.

    I can now see how my lack of mercy and understanding and truth, in past relationships have made me loose favour, and that’s not good! Thank God for his mercy and truth! Amen and Amen!

    • Hey, Clay, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Bless you, my brother.

  2. Good point Doug.

    “The only way to ensure that mercy and truth do not get away from us is to have them inscribed on our inner man, chiselled into the rock inside, thus making them an integral aspect of our character.”

    We need to choose to have mercy and truth inscribed.

    • Bless you, Norm.


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