“God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”Matthew 5:7 NLT
These days being merciful is sometimes viewed as weakness. Show no mercy is a slogan used by many athlete and sports team. It is not a concept taught to our children or seen often on the tv. So why does Jesus tell us to be merciful if it is something weak men and woman do? You can believe the lie that being merciful is for weak people or you can work to understand that it takes a lot of strength to be merciful to those, who most of the time, don’t deserve it.
Let’s look back to the first ever recorded display of mercy. Adam and Eve had just disobeyed Gods command to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the servant was most likely snickering away in the bushes, proud of what he convinced this weak willed people to do. God comes to have his evening walk with his creation, not finding them he cries out looking for his friends. Ashamed they approach God, they knew because of what they had done that he would not be pleased. In that moments God had a choice to make, would he destroy his creation then and there for their disobedience, or would he show mercy. God in his strength and wisdom choose to show mercy. He demonstrated his love and compassion towards his humanity in that moment by providing for their needs, he clothed them, this symbol was one of a father who may be disappointed by the choices made still cares for his children. He sent them off yet provided advice and a future plan for redemption of humanities situation.
Don’t forget now, there was also a serpant who played a part in this. God had every right to crush this creature for the role he played. I’ve believe this to be satan, if true then God had even more to destroy this evil that convinced humanity to sin. Yet God in his mercy let him God, cursing him, but sparing him for the time being. He didn’t pardon him but told him that his days were numbered and one would come to crush him.
How are you showing mercy today? It doesn’t need to be something so grand, little things need mercy just as much. Your teenager arrives 30 min late for curfew, your spouse forgets an important anniversary, a friend does something to hurt you. What ever it is being merciful isn’t about being weak, it is more about forgiving others like Christ has forgiven us.
Depending on the situation punishment may still take place. Mercy doesn’t always mean ignoring what happened. Even though the servant waste the away relatively unscathed he knew that his time was limited befor he would be crushed. Someone who committed a crime and admits to it may receive mercy from the court but will most of the time still be required to some sort of retribution.
So be merciful to those around you, not in weakness but strength. If we start changing the way we showm mercy and love we can change the world.
Jesus, you displayed the greatest act of mercy by taking on our sins on the crosss. Thank you for this merciless act. Without it we would still have no hope for a future and a relationship with the creator. Show us how to live a life displaying mercy and love to those around us. Let us show them that god loves them and they matter, because they matter to you they matter to us. Amen