I hear a lot more talk about grace than I do mercy. You too? I’ve heard it said that if grace is getting what we don’t deserve then mercy is not getting what we do deserve. God gives us an abundant dose of both grace and mercy, especially in light of the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary over 2,000 years ago. In Jesus, we see the ultimate picture of grace and mercy showered down upon us as He bore the full brunt of our iniquities and transgressions against our Holy God. On the Cross, Jesus himself experienced no grace and zero mercy. Yet, in His sacrifice, Jesus provided grace and mercy for us. The dictionary describes mercy as compassion or forbearance shown toward an offender.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
- Psalm 13:5- 6 But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.
- Psalm 31:7 I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
- Psalm 33:22 Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.
- Psalm 136:1 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever.
Mercy is radical kindness. Mercy means offering or being offered aid in desperate straits. Mercy is not deserved. It involves forgiving the debt, absolving the unabsolvable. Mercy, grace, forgiveness and compassion are synonyms.
Anne Lamott from her book, Hallelujah Anyway
I think we begin by learning to receive mercy ourselves in order to extend it to others. Once we’ve repented from our sinfulness and experienced grace and mercy through God’s forgiveness than we can understand how to go and do likewise. By seeing God’s compassion play out in our lives, we can show compassion and mercy to others. Ultimately, the Lord is our greatest teacher when it comes to our learning how to be merciful.
The Devotional Guy™