“Judge not, that you be not judged.   For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.   And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?   Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye;’ and look, a plank is in your own eye?   Hypocrite!  First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  Matthew 7:1-5 NKJV

Two young men are caught in the act of shooting whitetail rabbits in the night using their headlights to startle them.   It was out of season, they were shooting a .22 gauge rifle near residential properties, and trespassing.  One of the rabbits was gravely injured and thrown into the bed of a pickup along with other rabbits that were killed . . . another ‘mistake.’

A grandfather of one of the ‘boys’ was called and informed the arresting officers that his grandson was a problem, ‘he won’t listen,’ and whatever the officer’s charges should be, his grandson deserved them.  He leaves his grandson in the hands of the officers.

What was interesting after the grandfather departed is the officers’ conversation about the boys’ mistakes and how often they themselves had made poor choices as youthful novices.  It was interesting to watch them identify themselves with these two boy’s ‘mistakes,’ stating, ‘we’ve all done some stupid things.’   It is amazing how so many don’t get that!

They concluded that they should only be warned.  The truck would not be confiscated, nor the .22 rifle they had used.  The trespass citation would not be given nor the citation for shooting near someone’s home (endangering innocent people).

They were given ‘another chance.’

Isn’t that what mercy is all about?  Or, is that too much mercy?   You have to make your own mind up about that.  But another chance at doing things right despite failure, doing things wrong, and getting caught is something all of us should appreciate.

Another chance is a principle that everyone seems to understand only when caught in the wrong.  Everyone else deserves to be condemned and in some cases destroyed!   Of course, if it’s a beloved within one’s family or circle of friends, then mercy should be applied.

Can we learn this lesson, that all of us need mercy!   Don’t think so highly of self that it never occurs to you that our best deeds in life don’t measure up to divine standards.  God is not all that impressed with the best of us!  If you don’t need another chance now, assuredly, you will need it (them) later.  And, equally true, we all need to show mercy.   Judgments cannot be applied and not experienced.  Be careful how you judge others because the same measure will be applied when it is your turn!  And everyone gets a turn (or a few)!

Don’t forget . . . another chance should be afforded everyone that has gotten caught.  And for those who have never been caught, your day is coming when you too will need ‘another chance.’


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