Reconciling Mercy and Justice

The idea that God is both completely just and completely merciful is hard to fathom.  But yet God is both, and both abundantly - after all, mercy without justice is meaningless, and justice without mercy is intolerable.  I've got plenty of ideas on how to live at peace with these two ideas at the same time (I don't think you can ever fully "reconcile" them without losing the truth in the tension between the two!), but unfortunately, I think a lot of us tend to reconcile them like this:

I wound up deciding not to draw the mountain of empty bottles and pile o' unanswered mail.

I wound up deciding not to draw the mountain of empty bottles and pile o' unanswered mail.

Ah, such a beautiful thought, how God likes me more than you.  Tears me up every time.

Ah, such a beautiful thought, how God likes me more than you.  Tears me up every time.

I mean, we know grace is real 'cause it's in the Bible and everything.  I just figure it only applies to me.  That way I can still beat you with the guilt-stick and feel morally superior, which I enjoy.  I mean, why take ALL the fun out of my faith?

I mean, we know grace is real 'cause it's in the Bible and everything.  I just figure it only applies to me.  That way I can still beat you with the guilt-stick and feel morally superior, which I enjoy.  I mean, why take ALL the fun out of my faith?