Last month, David shared Jude 21 with us in one of his devotions. This week, I wanted to follow that up with Jude 22, which is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. “Be merciful to those who doubt” (Jude 22).
We all know people who have doubts. Some of our friends may even doubt God. I once had a co-worker who doubted God so much that she was always downing Christians and the church. She would criticize Christians who went on mission trips, believing that they did more harm than good. She thought that most verses in the Bible were about stoning people. It would have been easy to fire back a nasty response to her doubts, but I was reminded of Jude 22. I’ll admit that I am not always as merciful as I need to be. But in the case of my co-worker, I knew that being defensive would do more harm than good for the cause of Christ. So, I shared about my positive experiences on mission trips with her. I showed her what some verses in the Bible actually meant. I tried to be patient with her in her unbelief, but admittedly I was not perfect in that endeavor. To my knowledge, she has not changed her mind after all this time.
While that is sad, it is not final. My hope and prayer is that God will put someone in her life who will influence her to trust God. I refuse to write her off. I choose to show mercy in the midst of her doubt. One of the main reasons God has placed us where we are is to show mercy to those who doubt Him. God can use us to influence others. It often takes months or even years for that influence to bear fruit, but that’s OK. We simply need to allow God to use us and let Him change people’s hearts. We live in a world that is increasingly skeptical of God and of those who claim to follow Him. Now, more than ever, we need to show mercy with people as they struggle with doubt.
Jude wrote one of the shortest books in the Bible. He was also the half-brother of Jesus. His words in Jude 22 sound a lot like something he would have heard Jesus say. Jesus was known for showing mercy to those who doubted Him. What about you? Is there someone you can show mercy to this week? We are called to do so, especially to those who doubt.
Have a great week!