What does it mean to be merciful? Have you ever seen a business book extolling the value of mercy as an attribute of a leader? I think most people don’t think they need to be more merciful. Or more likely, they never think of mercy as an important attribute to possess. If that is the case, how can we live the Beatitude in Matthew 5:7, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy”?
Are you like me? I find being merciful a challenge. Oh, don’t get me wrong! I’m not harsh and cruel. But I like things to be fair. I want people to uphold the terms of an agreement. But mercy is not fair! It flows from compassion for people. Compassion is disconnected from fairness.
One person who displays compassion and mercy is God. When God gave laws to the ancient nation of Israel, he said in Exodus 22:25-27, “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest. If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, return it by sunset, 27 because that cloak is the only covering your neighbor has. What else can they sleep in? When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.” God’s compassion requires treating others with mercy.
How’s your mercy? If you want to receive mercy, then show mercy.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.