Beth is terrific. She wrote this for you:
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew5:8
Mercy is one of my favorite things in scripture. Seriously. It might actually be my favorite. At the same time, I rarely get more frustrated with a word.
As a teenager, I fought with my dad almost constantly. I remember once I decided to pull out “fathers, do not exasperate your children” (Eph 6:4) on him, in an attempt to get him to show mercy to me. He pretty quickly pulled out the fourth commandment on me: children, obey your parents. Neither of us were showing mercy. I was accusing, and he was accusing. We weren’t getting anywhere fast.
God isn’t like that. God knows that without mercy, we’re stuck. We can’t find the drive to try again, to love more, to share grace knowing that we’ve failed and all we can hope for is the reward of failing. So he gives us mercy, for every situation. In fact, he makes his mercies NEW for you every morning (Lamentations 3:23)!
When I meet unmerciful people, or people who are stuck and cannot show mercy, often I want to act unmercifully toward them. Every time I’ve followed that urge, I’ve hurt someone, and been hurt. But when I ask God to show them mercy, and to help me show them mercy, I see exactly why the merciful are blessed. God’s mercy is not just for me, but for my enemy. It is for you, and those whom you love, and those who hurt you. May you find comfort, joy and peace in the mercies God has new for you every morning.
Spend some time praying on these two: Have you held back mercy from someone? When has God shown you mercy that you totally didn’t deserve? How did that mercy come to you?