What comes to mind when you think of mercy? On the Cross, with outstretched arms, Jesus extended the ultimate act of mercy to forgive us of our sins. In Matthew 5:7, Jesus says "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy." This Scripture shows us that there's a very deep connection between our relationship with others and how merciful God is towards us! So, below we share 5 facets to God’s mercy - and how we can show it to others in our daily lives.
#1) BE PATIENT WITH QUIRKS
You can show mercy when you don’t get irritated, angry, or uptight with people’s personal quirks. This takes some patience - because we all have our own quirky behaviors! The truth is, this kind of mercy will take you a long way in marriage. Ephesians 4:2 says “be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” So, show mercy to those you love out of reverence for Christ.
#2) HELP ANYONE HURTING AROUND YOU
In Luke 10, Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan to make a point that helping the hurting around you is the meaning of mercy. Maybe this week God will put someone in your path who has a physical, emotional or financial need and is unable to help themselves in this matter. Will you extend mercy? Or will you rush around them? When you help those are hurting, don’t grin and bear it, either. Romans 12:8 instructs us in this: “[When you do] acts of mercy, show mercy with cheerfulness.”
#3) DO GOOD TO THOSE WHO HURT ME
When someone hurts you, we often want to either get even or write them off. But the Bible says in Ephesians 4:31-32 that we should be kind and merciful, forgiving others as God forgave you because of Christ.
While there may be little mercy or civility in our society today, the Bible instructs us to show mercy by giving people what they NEED, not what they deserve. See, God didn’t give us what we deserve – he gave us forgiveness, instead. When you bless someone who hurt you, you are actually following in the footsteps of Jesus. So, think about it: Who hurt you most recently in life? They may need your mercy the most.
#4) BE KIND TO THOSE WHO OFFEND ME
We think it goes without saying that cultural attacks on Christians are prevalent in our society. Offenses are dividing families, friends, and tarnishing our witnesses with non-Christians. The problem with this culture war is that it’s a no-win situation. Instead, if you’re kind to someone who offends you, incredible things can happen! Your response to someone can truly be the entry way to an encounter with Christ – and God’s mercy may change their life.
#5) BUILD BRIDGES OF LOVE TO THE OVERLOOKED
Last, but certainly not least, Jesus demonstrated mercy by building bridges of love to outcasts. Pastor Rick Warren calls this premeditated mercy – intentionally reaching out the the unpopular to build a bridge of love in Jesus’ name.
Think about it: When was the last time you invited someone who doesn't believe in Jesus for dinner or coffee? Have you shared lunch with any notorious sinners lately, besides yourself? Jesus spent time with the social and spiritual outcasts – and so should you. Jesus’ mission was to seek and save what was lost – and he couldn’t do that without actually GOING to those he intended to save.
Maybe you’re the one who needs mercy most today. Maybe you’ve never accepted Jesus’ mercy for you. If you long to accept the mercy and forgiveness of Jesus today, we'd love to pray with you. We encourage you to pray a prayer asking Jesus to enter your life today, right where you are. Then, submit your prayer request HERE so our spiritual care team can be praying for you as you start your journey with Jesus.