So there’s a soldier named Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl who was held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan from June of 2009 until recently, when America exchanged five Taliban prisoner in exchange for his release. Now there’s a question about whether Sgt Bergahl deserted his fellow soldiers, putting other lives at risk, etc… Unless you’ve been hiding out in a cave for the last few days, you know the story.
I don’t know all the details and I’m quite sure that very few do. I do know that if Sgt. Bergahl did in fact desert his fellow soldiers then he’ll whatever consequences the American Military demands of him.
But… and this is a big BUT! I’ve watch my Facebook feed filled with so many people ready to cast their stones upon this soldier. No official investigation, no court and no fair trial. According to my Facebook feed this man is a traitor and deserves no mercy. Sadly, many of the people so quick to judge also profess to be Christians. I even saw one Christian justifying such swift judgment by suggesting that he made his bed, so let him lay in it.
Really? I’m so glad that we don’t serve a Heavenly Father who looks upon us and says, “You made your bed, now lay in it.” Far from it, we serve a Heavenly Father who showers us with his grace… with mercy… with the blood of Jesus rather than demanding our own blood.
This post really isn’t about Sgt. Bergdahl. His story, the developing details, and the populous response just provide a good occasion to point out a deeper problem: all our talk about grace and mercy turns often turns out to be nothing more than talk. And talk is cheap!
Maybe we all would do well to bury our heads in our Bibles and read once again about this God who reveals himself in Jesus Christ. We’ve somehow forgotten that we’ve received grace upon grace, mercy upon mercy. We need to fix our eyes upon Jesus again because then we begin to realize that we have too many of our own sins to begin casting stones at someone else. When we fix our eyes upon Jesus, the crucified Christ, we learn to be more merciful because we realize that we too have received mercy.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” – Jesus, The Gospel of Matthew 5:7