“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)
Are you a 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, as well. Mercy is a heavenly value which the Lord desires to be obvious in the lives of His followers.
If you are struggling with this today, welcome to the human race! Somewhere, many of us picked up this need to see justice accomplished; we want those who inflict pain to be punished. Sadly, we not only do that to others, but to ourselves, as well. We are experts at dealing out punishment. We know how to say certain things to communicate our disapproval or show disdain for others. Using both our words and our actions, we are guilty of being unmerciful with others, especially those 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 of mercy-giving! He clearly doesn’t give us what we deserve. Otherwise, we would not have lasted very long in this life, and definitely wouldn’t have made it out of the teenage years.
If you are reading this, God has been merciful to you. This is the critical piece today: You cannot 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 you are tempted to throw stones, imagine the one not thrown at you, when you deserved to have one thrown right between your eyes! That picture in your heart will cause you to release the grip on the stone in your hand. Let it go!