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Undeserved Mercy

In the early 1800s, Napoleon Bonaparte and his men fought battles all over Europe. Napoleon's troops, for the most part, were loyal; but one young soldier committed an act of treason. Napoleon decided to overlook it—but then the soldier was again disloyal. This time, Napoleon condemned him to death.

When the young man's mother heard the verdict, she journeyed many miles to plead with the great general. "Have mercy on my son," she begged.

Napoleon shook his head. "Impossible. He twice committed the same grievous offense. Justice demands his death."

The mother didn't give up. "Sire," she cried, "I am not pleading for justice, but for mercy!"

"He deserves no mercy." The general spoke with contempt.

"Ah, no, he most certainly does not," the mother agreed. "But it wouldn't be mercy, sire, if he deserved it!"

The mother's plea touched the general's heart. He called a secretary and signed the young man's pardon.

This little story touches my heart. I've been disloyal to God and His Kingdom more times than I can remember. But He is a God of mercy as well as a God of justice—and when I confess, He is ready to forgive.

I pray that I can show the same merciful spirit to my fellow offenders!

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