Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7
Ooo! This is a tough one. We live in probably the most unmerciful world of all time. There is very little grace to be seen these days in our society. People are angry, hurt and unforgiving and will fight for the right to be that way. Grace, compassion and empathy are seldom seen when you look around. Seriously, next time you are out in a public place, just stop and listen to the conversations going on around you. People are proud of who they got the best of, who the were able to put in their place and even more pleased when they stood up to an authority figure. The popular thing today is to fight for the right to be right and then make sure everyone knows about how right you were.
You are thought to be weak or backward if you forgive others when they were obviously wrong, to love others when they are unlovable or to give to someone who has made, in your opinion, bad choices. Jesus said you are blessed/happy and satisfied in life when you show mercy.
So what exactly is mercy? Mercy can be defined as compassionate, or kindness shown toward an offender, enemy or undesirable. It is also said that mercy is not giving someone what they deserve such as punishment or judgement. Hmm, this sounds like what God does for all people including myself. He doesn’t punish me when I sin, and He doesn’t condemn me when I deserve His judgement. On the other hand, He does give me grace that I don’t deserve. He is kind to me and never holds my mistakes and intentional deception against me. He is merciful! Scripture tells us that even when we were still sinners, Jesus died for us. Jesus didn’t die for saved, born again people, He died for sinners! You can’t get any more merciful than that!
Now we understand why Jesus told His disciples that those who are merciful are the blessed ones, not those who are right and not those who are proud. Compassion reaches to those who are compassionate, and mercy is only given to those who show mercy. (see Matthew 18)
Today I want to encourage you to be merciful to all people. Jesus said in verse 44 of this chapter to love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who use and persecute you. That is a great description of being merciful. Then you will be shown mercy when you do not quite get it right. No matter how hard you try or how much effort you put in, you will always come up short sometimes. Put yourself in the position to receive His mercy by being merciful to others every chance you get!
Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 5:3-12
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.