Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7)
Showing mercy…it seems to be a dying art. Gone are the days when others are routinely given the benefit of a doubt, or a second chance. Frequently, others aren’t even allowed to hold a contrasting opinion before they’re given a derogatory label and mentally cast aside.
Recently, I was reminded that those who extend mercy to others will be blessed and shown mercy themselves. It’s the Golden Rule in action. If we want to be treated with mercy by God, we need to act with mercy toward others. But, what exactly does it mean to be merciful to our fellow man?
In this verse, “mercy” comes from a Greek word (eleos) that means pity or compassion. But, it’s more than just a feeling. Strong defines it as: “kindness or good will toward the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them.” Mercy is seeing another person in need, and desiring to relieve their misery. The opposite of mercy would be indifference, or criticism of the one in need, pointing out all their flaws. As my youth pastor recently remarked, “Mercy is not pointing a finger, it’s offering a hand.”
We are merciful to others when we’re willing to act for their benefit, overlook their shortcomings, and forgive their wrongs against us. Treating others this way blesses them, blesses us, and demonstrates the way we long to be treated by God as well – not as we deserve, but as we need.
Want to be shown mercy? Be merciful to others. –Dave
(To receive these free daily devotions via email, subscribe at: http://www.theteachableheart.com/blogs—daily-devotions.html. For more information about the ministry, or to order the devotional books, visit: http://www.theteachableheart.com/books.html).