Why I’m Still Thinking About Les Miserables

Just a short thought that sprung from my reading of Les Miserables (yes I’m still obsessed) and the church service on Sunday. Mostly I’m putting it here because I wanted it written somewhere and it was a bit too long for Facebook :)

When we truly show mercy and grace to others, we are not condoning the life they are living. Rather, mercy and grace should free people to live lives of righteousness without the need to first repay us for the wrongs they have committed. The Bishop shows mercy to Valjean not because he believes stealing is justified, but because he wants to give Valjean the opportunity to become the man God intended him to be. Valjean does not show mercy to Fantine to condone prostitution, but to give her a chance to live an honest life.

It is easy in our culture to confuse mercy and love and tolerance with relativism. Wrong action is wrong action, and while it is not our job to condemn others, it is our job to point the way and encourage repentance. Doing this without being hypocritical or bigoted is a fine line that I don’t think many people walk well. I want to walk that line well.

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  1. thoughts similar to these have been on my mind often lately. How do I show grace and mercy without condoning the lives of others? We are often told to do just this, but not a lot of practical application of HOW to do it. I think this speaks to that fine line you speak about…I WANT to do it well too!!

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