God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Matthew 5:7 (NLT)
Series Focus: “Back to the Basics”
Mercy—a compassionate kindness shown toward an offender. We have all needed this. Unfortunately, most often, this is something we are more willing to receive than to give. Why is that? Think of the interactions, or encounters, you’ve had this week with other people. Were they all positive and cheery? Many probably were. Did you mesh well with everyone you came in contact with or were there moments you wanted to scream? Though others have wronged us, haven’t we all also wronged others? That is harder to reflect upon.
When you have moments of aggravation, frustration, or complete anger, are you more likely to lash out, avoid future contact, or offer a compassionate word? Do you easily forgive others? In Luke 6:36, he writes we are to be merciful, as God is merciful. Luke describes what merciful living looks like:
But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. Luke 6:27-31 (ESV)
It helps me to stay more mindful of how desperately we need God’s mercy when I reflect upon my own life, mistakes, sinfulness, and wrongs I have committed to others. Each life tells a story different from mine. Some stories are happier, some sadder, some more complicated, and some more desperate. Everyone has one, and everyone needs divine favor at some point.
I believe we receive the ability to show mercy when we allow God’s word to penetrate our hearts. He leads us to display compassionate attitudes, words, and actions. When we show mercy, it goes exceedingly deeper than just being nice. Mercy is laced in love. Mercy is an encourager of the lowly, of the forgotten, and yes—of the crabby, the angry, the confused, those who irritate us, hurt us, and even hate us! Because being merciful is loving like Jesus loves! There’s no place I’d rather be than in the merciful arms of Jesus Christ!
Mercy is never something we deserve. It is the gift of God, withholding a judgment we deserve, and instead granting us the forgiveness we in no way have earned. David says it best in Psalm 51:1-2:
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! (NLT)
May God’s amazing love take root deeply in your heart so that His mercy flows from it! Extend this gift to someone who doesn’t deserve it—well, someone you think doesn’t deserve it. And as you walk past your mirror, thank Jesus for stretching out His arms on a cross to provide the mercy you are receiving today.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Matthew 5:7; Luke 6:36; Psalm 28; Psalm 51:1-2