God Doesn’t Owe Us Mercy
What happens is that we get accustomed to God’s grace. At first, we are amazed by it. The second time not quite so much surprised. By the third or the fourth time, we begin to expect it, then we assume it, and then we demand it. And we’re angry if we don’t get it. The greatest distortion in our thinking, dear friends, is thinking that God owes us mercy—that God is somehow obligated to be gracious to us. But think about that. The minute the idea comes in your head that God owes you mercy or owes you grace, let a bell go off in your brain that says ‘whoops, I’m confusing these concepts,’ because grace by its very definition is voluntary. God is not required to be merciful. He reserves the right to be merciful to whom He will be merciful and to be gracious to whom He is gracious. You can plead for grace. You can beg for mercy, but you can never, ever demand it. Justice may be required but never, ever mercy. And it’s because God is holy that anytime He withholds justice He is giving grace.