I was thinking today…. the definition of mercy is – compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.
Do we show mercy to one another? Are we merciful? We know God is merciful, we know Jesus died to save us from our sins; you don’t get more merciful than that! Honestly, for me, I have a temper and sometimes it gets the best of me, and God knows I could be more patient with people and situations.
So look at the definition again – TO FORGIVE SOMEONE THAT WE HAVE THE POWER TO HARM. Think of Jesus; He had the power to harm people and He also had the human nature of anger. Think of how strong He was to keep it under control – to show forgiveness and mercy rather than hate or to do harm. Do we do that? Can we do that?
If someone physically hurts us, I think our first human reaction is to hurt them back in self-defense, and I don’t think that’s wrong. But are we truly merciful to someone who has hurt us in some other way, forgiving them and showing them mercy when we could get revenge instead? I think this is a really hard one.
On the cross Jesus said “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Jesus is in torturous pain and dying on a cross and still He asks for forgiveness for the ones who did this to Him! Wow! And to think that sometimes I have trouble truly forgiving someone who has talked behind my back or said something hurtful to me! Maybe we need to practice being forgiving and merciful on a small scale and then work our way up. It’s definitely something to think about and put into daily use.
(Luke 6:36) “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
(Proverbs 3: 3-4) Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.
(Proverbs 11:17) The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.
To God be the Glory,
Lynn Manucci Warrick