As You Would Have Them Do to You

By Marc Massery

Turn to any page of St. Faustina's Diary, and you'll find spiritual gems. Like this one:

[Let] the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy. They have the right before others to trust in the abyss of My mercy. My daughter, write about My mercy towards tormented souls (Diary, 1146). 

After you sin do you beat yourself up? You might think that at times, beating yourself up is the right thing to do. After all, God hates sin.  

But the Lord doesn’t want that. When you sin, God wants you to treat yourself like you would treat a dear friend who was going through the same situation. As it says in Scripture, "Do to others as you would have them do to you" (Lk 6:31, emphasis added). 

While it’s good to strive for perfection and to take our holiness seriously, we need to remember that we’re only human. It’s self-righteousness and pride that causes us to be harder on ourselves than we are on others. But in the end, holiness is a grace given to us by God that we can only get if we trust in His mercy. 

Above all else, Jesus came to show us mercy. So, if we truly want to treat others mercifully, we need to show mercy to ourselves. Now, does this mean we should just continue sinning, knowing we have Christ’s mercy? Of course not! He wants to heal the wounds that lead us into sin to begin with. The more He heals our wounds caused by sin, the more His mercy will motivate us to strive even harder for holiness. 

So next time you mess up and you’re tormented by shame, express your forgiveness to Jesus. But think of the most loving, most merciful, most understanding response possible. That’s Christ. He is love and mercy itself, and He wants to set you free. 

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Photo by Genevieve Perron-Migneron on Unsplash

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