Sunday, November 3, 2013

Learning to Love Mercy

No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

I read this verse earlier this week and I could not shake the phrase "to love mercy".  I started thinking about mercy, what is mercy? 

I usually think of mercy as not giving someone what they deserve.  Honestly this has not always been me, I have not usually been the first to show mercy.  If anything I could say "I love Justice, not Mercy."  If someone did something wrong whether to me or in general, I thought they should pay.  If they got punished, well they deserved it.  That is so not loving mercy.

Honestly, if I were to receive the justice due to me, it would not be good.  I am not perfect, I say things I shouldn't, I think things I shouldn't, I do things I shouldn't. If each mess up or sin was punished, then I'd be in BIG trouble.  You see I used to want God to serve justice to others, but not to me.  And the truth is he didn't show justice to me, he showed me LOTS of mercy, by serving my justice, my judgement, my punishment on Jesus.  All of it, Christ took it all.  God takes sin very seriously, that's why he didn't go easy on Jesus, he made sure every last sin was paid for, by every person that ever would walk the earth. 

What great mercy he poured out on me, kindness, forgiveness and grace.  I didn't earn it, I surely didn't deserve it, but isn't that was mercy is all about?!  As He did for us so we should do for others.  When I think of showing mercy, I thinking of feeding the poor or providing a meal for the hungry.  That is essentially grace.  Mercy is more like not back lashing at the person who was just rude to you.  When that happens our instant reaction to rudeness is to be rude back, stick up for ourselves & shut them up.  But that would be giving them what they "deserve", mercy is holding back, forgiving & being kind to someone who didn't deserve it.

So I was challenged with this, and I'm learning to love mercy.  Since I was shown such great mercy myself, shouldn't I do the same, to those I interact with who don't deserve it?  If it's important to God and is a trait he shows, I want to reflect the same.  Will you join me this week?  When people offend us, talk down, are down right rude & disrespectful, and aren't deserving of kindness, we can choose to love mercy & forgive, even without an apology. Let's learn to love showing mercy together.

Jesus said Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’  Matthew 9:13a 

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