God's attributes are not parts of Him, they are each the whole of Him. He is all His attributes at all times. He is one, thus His attributes are one. We speak of them individually, but we err when we extract one without reference to the others. For instance, God is just and He is merciful. He does not choose to be merciful in one situation and just in another, He is equally just and merciful in every situation. To us we might see His response as more of an action of justice rather than mercy, but in reality it is just as merciful as it is just. This is why King David, when given a choice between being punished by being given to His enemies or being punished by God, he chose God for he knew that God's punishment would be exactly right, good, and merciful.
In the same way, our actions ought to be that which lines up with His goodness. Therefore, when our mercy does not include justice or our justice is not constrained by mercy then we are not in line with what is good. God is also love. Love is not unrestrained mercy. In fact, justice and mercy are not at odds with each other or with love. Perfect love is perfectly just and merciful at the same time for God is all of these attributes eternally. They all are anchored together in Him as one.
Any of these attributes lived out apart from the rest would be harmful and not a true representation of the attribute. Love without justice is not real love. Justice without mercy is not really just. Mercy without justice is not really being merciful. True love is not just a balance of justice and mercy, but is a full composite of both for the two cannot be rightly separated.
People who are recipients of constant mercy devoid of justice are not helped, but hindered from attaining personal responsibility. They cannot mature into the people they ought to be if they are saved from every just consequence of their choices.
People ought to be allowed the freedom to be irresponsible, but at the same time it is good to not remove the consequences of the actions. In Danny Silk's book, Loving Your Kids on Purpose, he explains that we all have choices. He encourages parents to give their children the freedom to make those choices while they are in the safety of the parent's home so that their lessons are learned early in life and do not become perpetual problems into adulthood. A child forgets her lunch at home, and Mom does not drive it to her, for she would now experience a lesson in consequences as she decides how to acquire lunch for herself due to her forgetfulness. The action was both one of mercy and one of justice. It was just for the child to not have the lunch she forgot, and merciful for the mom to provide her the opportunity to learn this lesson.
Today's society has elevated tolerance as a virtue and personal irresponsibility as a public problem rather than a private one. This nation was founded to be a place where people are free to make their way in the world with their property and life protected by the enforcement of laws enacted for this purpose. However, it was never intended to be a place where the poor and unhealthy are enjoined from being thus. It was never to be a place where the those who are responsible are forced to surrender their hard earned goods to those who are not. Today freedom has been encroached upon to aid the whole by requiring the few to not only be responsible for themselves, but for those who are irresponsible as well.
In a world where personal irresponsibility is protected by a removal of due consequences, people are apt to become more irresponsible rather than less. It is human nature not to take care of oneself when someone is willing and able to do it for you. Why would a child learn to tie his shoe if mom and dad never stop doing it for him? Why would a child learn to feed herself, if mom never expects them to do it and does it for her? Why would someone who knows how to fish, choose to fish when fish are abundantly handed to him?
I once had a professor who said, if he had enough money in his estate to enable his children to never have to work again, he would bequeath it all to charity rather than to his children. He said he did not want to create lazy children by giving them what it ought to take hard work to acquire.
I used to struggle to understand why the Bible says that if someone in a community is not working they ought not to be able to eat the food. The same Bible says to give to the poor. Then I realized that the “poor” being spoken of are not those who choose not to work or who squander their earnings, but those who are physically incapable of providing for themselves. The “poor” were not those who didn't have money because they were not working, but those who couldn't work and thus justly needed provision. Still this was a voluntary giving out of love and compassion and not a giving out of compulsion of a national law. One is giving, the other is legalized stealing.
While it is good to be a cheerful giver, it is not good to produce ravenous takers. Giving when there is genuine need will produce the fruit of a grateful receiver. Becoming a provider of a person who is able to provide for themselves creates an unhealthy dependency the sucks the life out of the relationship making one the master and the other the slave regardless of the best of intentions. This steals the integrity of the person receiving such aid and makes them feel lousy and unable to be productive keeping them in bondage. The way of freedom is the way of responsibility and the way of irresponsible people experiencing their consequences. This way the consequences act as a motivator to correct ones course.
If we are to live according to justice and mercy there must be a justice and mercy by which we conform. If there is no supreme Justice then there is no injustice. In closing, consider the following popular quote by C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity.
My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too--for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist--in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless -I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality--namely my idea of justice--was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning.