Do you remember the childhood game where you intertwine your fingers with a friend and then frantically try to bend each others hands back until someone can’t take it and cries mercy? Or maybe you have been in a tickle fight...no, a battle...where the loser must cry mercy in order to escape and find relief...
Whether we have been involved in one of these epic battles, or a battle of a different kind, we can all appreciate the power of mercy. The relief that the word immediately brings.
On Sundays, our pastor has been preaching through the beatitudes and this week he preached on mercy. It hit me hard. Have you ever considered the fact that just because we have forgiven someone we do not necessarily show them mercy? Come on, you know you’ve been there...”I forgive you...but secretly I hope your life is one of misery and bad things come your way on a daily basis...” I know I have.
Being merciful means being sympathetic or compassionate. Not an easy feeling to have for someone who has wronged you! I mean, sometimes it’s hard to show mercy for the people you really like...let alone those that don’t make it to your “my favorite people” list!
Over the last couple of years, I have found myself struggling with complete forgiveness. (I know I’ve discussed this in another post so I won’t go into it here). This sermon really got me to thinking though...maybe complete forgiveness, or the next step in the process is mercy. *sigh*
The mental battle begins...
”But God, I don’t want to have mercy!”
“They don’t deserve mercy”
“Can I at least give them one good tongue-lashing and THEN show mercy?”
I wonder if Jesus struggled with these thoughts as he spoke the words “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”...He was human after all.
Mercy is a hard one to wrap my mind around. The Bible does promise us that if we show mercy to others, we also will be shown mercy. A promise. One that I definitely need on a daily basis, and if I need it, how much do others need it also?
I have made it through the mental battles by simply telling myself I can forgive someone, but that doesn’t mean I have to talk to them, be friends with them or anything of the sort...maybe, I have been wrong. What if I took the upper road? What if I showed mercy, even when someone didn’t deserve it or show it to me... I mean, really, do any of us deserve mercy?
James 2:13 says, “but judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment."
YIKES! Now I don’t want to be scared, or scare anyone else into being merciful...but I do think the Bible is pretty clear on this one. I know that I desperately need mercy shown to me...so who am I to not show mercy to others?
I know this is going to be a process, as all things are with this walk. But I truly believe that this may just be the final step in a long healing process for many of us...or at least for me.
His mercies are new every morning!
Thanks for stopping by (after such a long break!)