Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. – Matthew 5:7
In Jesus’ teachings during the sermon on the mount, He opens us up and cause us to ask ourselves; “Are we really being merciful to everyone who needs it? Or are we merciful to those we think deserve it?
What is mercy? As defined by Google’s online dictionary: “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.” In other words it’s having compassion on someone who’s actions deserve punishment or death and withholding it because of love.
Just about every reader of this post has been the recipient of mercy. I know I can elaborate on the mercy I’ve received but this post would be numerous pages long if I did. God showed us mercy when He sent His Son to this earth as a sacrifice for our sins. Jesus came here, not as a king, ruler, socialite or commander of what would’ve been the greatest army ever assembled for a rebellion. He came to be humiliated, tortured and crucified for your’s and my sake. Because of that, thank God we have mercy extended to us.
Since we have experienced mercy, we are supposed to give the same mercy when we’re offended by our neighbors. We are held to a standard since we decided to follow Jesus and become disciples. Jesus reminded His followers then and He is reminding us today, that we should count up the cost of following Him (Luke 14:28). There’s going to be some situations where what we do can make the difference in someone else asking what must they do to be saved because of the glory of our Lord shown through us because of the way we handle a situation far from the norm of this world and tradition (Matthew 5:16). The Lord says He desires mercy not sacrifice (Matthew 9:13).
Extending mercy in difficult situations can be a task. If we remember how many times the Lord has had mercy on us, that task will be a little easier to take on and handle. Holding onto to Jesus’ teaching about mercy and knowing the blessing we’ll receive for obeying His word, makes it all worthwhile.