We humans sometimes act a lot like dogs. We are often given to overestimating threats and overreacting to perceived injuries. If Jesus had acted like we do – would there ever have been a Cross?
That’s a serious question. As I continually evaluate my personal efforts to imitate the life of Jesus, I need to think about that.
We humans also are frequently selfish. We don’t have time for the one in need of mercy because we are pursuing our own “needs” for consumption. After all, I’m making it fine, why couldn’t the other guy do that too. See, it’s all about me. What if Jesus had felt that way? Really.
If my neighbor is in need of mercy, they may indeed not deserve it. That’s what mercy is. It involves helping someone who doesn’t deserve it. That’ what Jesus did for me on The Cross. I must do the same. I must take up my cross and follow Him.
It will be easier for me to show mercy if I will meditate on what Jesus has done for me.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (1 Peter 1:3 NKJV, emphasis mine, John)
God is merciful to me. I could not receive His salvation without His mercy because I am so undeserving. If I have difficulty showing mercy to someone else, maybe it is because I don’t realize how much mercy God has shown me. Maybe it is because I don’t appreciate the mercy God has shown me. Maybe I don’t think I need God’s mercy because I am “entitled.”
I do not understand how one can comprehend the mercy of God and not be a merciful person. I need to meditate on God’s amazing mercy.
Even an elementary grasp of the beauty of God’s mercy towards me should help me see the divine wisdom of pursuing a life of mercy myself.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, … (James 3:17 NKJV, emphasis mine, John)
A wise person is one who shows mercy.
I guess it all comes down to this: if I want to go to heaven when I die, I will need mercy to get there. I will not recieve mercy if I do not show it. These words of Jesus below may be so familiar that we just read right through them. Slow down and think about what Jesus’ saying means.
Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7 NKJV)
When I realize more fully God’s mercy to me, it becomes easier for me to show mercy to others. When I show mercy to others, my understanding and appreciation of God’s mercy grows. Knowing mercy produces mercy. Showing mercy increases personal joy and shows Jesus to the world.