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“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

Are you a very merciful person? When others think of you, do they paint you with the strokes of mercy?  Because it was important enough to Jesus that He spoke these words in the Sermon on the Mount, it should be important to us. It is a heavenly value the Lord desires to be obvious in the lives of His followers.

So, if you are struggling with this today, welcome to the human race! Somewhere along the way, many of us picked up this built-in need to see justice accomplished, for people wronged to be righted, and people who inflicted pain to be punished. Sadly, we not only do that to others but to ourselves, as well. We are experts in dealing out punishment. We know how to say certain things to communicate our disapproval or act in such a way as to deal out disdain for another. Using both our words and actions, we are guilty of being unmerciful with others, especially others, who in our “humble” opinion need to be taught a lesson. O, Lord, help us!

I like the definition I heard years ago: Mercy is “NOT getting what you deserve!” Our Lord is the champion on mercy-giving! He clearly doesn’t give us what we deserve. Otherwise, we would have not made it very long in this life, and definitely would have failed to get out of those teenage years.

If you are reading this, God has been merciful to you. Here’s the critical piece today: You can’t give away something you do not have. If you want to be a mercy-giver, celebrate in this moment the great, overflowing mercy the Lord has shown you. If tempted to throw stones, imagine the one not thrown at you when you deserved to have one right between the eyes! That picture in your heart will release your grip on the stone in your hand. Let it go!

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