Psalm 78 is a song of remembrance of the many times God in His mercy chose to have compassion on the Israelites instead of bringing down His judgement which was rightly deserved. Verse 38 says, “But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.”
As Christians it is easy for us to judge others whether we mean to or not. I can always tell when I’m in a “judgy” mood, and I hate that it controls how I feel and think. I remember hearing a preacher say once, “We always judge ourselves by our intentions, but we judge others by their actions.” I’d take it a step further and say, "We often judge ourselves by our intentions and judge others by our expectations." This is completely unfair. One of the pastors I used to serve under taught me an invaluable truth one time when I was in the wrong. As I stood there bracing myself for the telling off I knew I deserved, he said, “Oh, that’s okay. I always judge on the 90% and not the 10%.” His mercy surprised me. It surprised me mostly because if the roles were reversed I might not have been as merciful and so, therefore, it never crossed my mind that I might be shown mercy. The mercy he showed me that day effected me in several ways. Not only was a weight lifted off me because he wasn’t upset, it also made me want to do my best to live up to the 90%. It also challenged me to show more compassion to others. Since that time I have always tried to live by the rule “Judge on the ninety percent not the ten."