For Judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment (2:13) . . . to do justice, LOVE mercy and walk humbly with God is the life Micah calls us to. I believe judgment without mercy is tyranny but mercy without judgment is wishful thinking. Without judgment there can be no mercy. Judgment and mercy are flip sides of the same coin. Is there mercy for the unmerciful? Jesus teaches us to pray "forgive us our sins (debts, trespasses) AS WE forgive those who sin (debtors, trespass) against us". That sounds like conditional grace. Is it possible that the evidence of a life in the spirit -- the first evidence that we actually Christ's followers -- is when we begin to extend mercy and forgiveness to others that God has extended to us? Is it possible that mercy (like love and spiritual gifts and so much more) is not given to me for me to keep but is given to the world by God through me? I heard someone say once: "Salvation only comes to you on the way to someone else: if it stopped with you it wasn't real." I would apply the same to mercy and forgiveness. There is judgment without mercy for those who show no mercy!
I love the "you believe in God? even the demons believe and tremble" in verse 19. It is not what I say it is what I do that truly matters. All too often Christians are criticized, sometimes justifiably and sometimes not so, by the wider world for being judgmental. How many times does the media portray the Christian who is declaring the love of Jesus and salvation through Christ in one moment and in the very next breath condemning all those other miserable sinners who "haven't got what I got." When all the church preaches is judgment there is no mercy and the world turns a deaf ear to our message. Jesus saved his most judging comments for the RELIGIOUS people and spoke to those who knew they needed grace with words of love, grace and forgiveness. I can profess that I believe and still belong to the devil.
James: show me your faith apart from you works (your life, your attitudes, your judgmental ism) and I by my works (my life, my attitude, my championing of mercy) will demonstrate my faith in Jesus.