The Mercy Rule


          I was talking with some guys who had participated in high school wrestling. The subject of a concept called the mercy rule came up in the discussion. The mercy rule works two different ways. First if a wrestler has his opponent pinned and the opponent taps out then the match is over with. The pinned wrestler is saying that he gives up and he is at the mercy of his opponent. He is humbling himself to his opponent.

          This is important because back in the origination of this type of wrestling in the Greek and Roman times the outcome was serious injury or death to the loser of the match. The one who had his opponent pinned could continue to punish the pinned wrestler unless he tapped out – which was his way of asking for mercy. If there was no tap out the match continued with no mercy given until the pinned wrestler was incapacitated or even dead.

          The other aspect of the mercy rule is that points are awarded for certain moves and holds that a wrestler puts on his opponent. If one wrestler gets enough points on his opponent that the opponent cannot catch up and come back then the mercy rule is enforced and the wrestler with the large number of points is the winner.

          In looking at our struggles in life we should be thankful for the mercy rule. Many times, we wrestle with obeying God’s will and giving up our will and ways. We can keep on struggling and wrestling against God but I can promise you from experience that we will NEVER overcome Him. He is always stronger, mightier, faster, and smarter than our best efforts. He will always be gaining more points in this struggle despite our best efforts.

          The smartest thing that we can do is to “tap out” spiritually by humbling ourselves and asking God to have mercy on us. When we ask for mercy He not only gives us mercy but grace and peace also. When we surrender our will to Him, He always has a better plan for our lives. The struggle is over and we can enjoy what the Bibles describes as “the peace of God that passes all understanding

          As long as we want to wrestle against Him, He will allow us to. But He just intensifies His moves and keeps on gaining points on us to the point that, hopefully, we will realize that we cannot overcome Him. So we will surrender but then something strange happens. In high school wrestling when someone taps out the other opponent is declared the winner and he can celebrate.

          When we tap out spiritually God takes us who has lost the match and invites us to be on His winning side and celebrate the victory that He won on the cross through His son Jesus’ victory on the cross. WOW! That makes me want to tap out sooner in each struggle that I have. After all – God wins in the end. So why not give up and be on the winning side?  

In love with Jesus – Gary Mimbs

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