Matthew 1:19 (NKJV)
“Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.”
There is a junction where justice and mercy meet called the junction of love. Joseph demonstrated this to Mary, his espoused wife to be. He didn’t understand how she could be pregnant, but he knew he could not marry her in that condition. By justice, he knew he needed to terminate the relationship, but in mercy, he decided not to make her a public example or ridicule; he chose to do it in secret. Why did he choose this path? It was because he loved her.
Love does not remove justice, but love inputs mercy into justice. Justice without mercy has no love. True love mixes mercy with justice and does not seek to shame the offender in the delivery of justice. For us to escape the full weight of the justice of God, Jesus took our shame and pain on the cross. He did this so that we can receive the love of God. When someone has failed you or fallen short, and you require justice, remember to mix it with mercy, so that shame can be avoided even when justice is delivered.
“Father, give me Your heart, the heart of love for the fallen and failures around me. Since I am a constant recipient of Your love, teach me to have the heart of mercy even when I meet people crushed by justice or shamed by their sinful actions. Give me pure love and mercy, Lord. Please, Jesus. In Your name, I pray. Amen.”