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Daily Bread

Steel and Velvet

The Philippine Star
Steel and Velvet

Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.  — John 8:7

Poet Carl Sandburg wrote of former US president Abraham Lincoln, “Not often in the story of mankind does a man arrive on earth who is both steel and velvet, . . . who holds in his heart and mind the paradox of terrible storm and peace unspeakable and perfect.” “Steel and velvet” described how Lincoln balanced the power of his office with concern for individuals longing for freedom.

Only one person in all history perfectly balanced strength and gentleness, power and compassion. That man is Jesus Christ. In John 8, when confronted by the religious leaders to condemn a guilty woman, Jesus displayed both steel and velvet. He showed steel by withstanding the demands of a bloodthirsty mob, instead turning their critical eyes upon themselves. He said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (v. 7). Then Jesus modeled the velvet of compassion by telling the woman, “Neither do I condemn you . . . . Go now and leave your life of sin” (v. 11).

Reflecting His “steel and velvet” in our own responses to others can reveal the Father’s work of conforming us to be like Jesus. We can show His heart to a world hungry for both the velvet of mercy and the steel of justice.  — Bill Crowder

 

 

How does your response to the brokenness of this world compare to Christ’s balance of mercy and justice? Where do you need God’s help to enable you to show His compassion to others?

Dear Father, I thank You for Your Son, whose strength and tenderness perfectly reveal Your heart for our lost world.

GOD
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