“Blessed are (happy are) the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” – Matthew 5:7
Survival of the fittest. Only the strong survive. From marketing campaigns, sports teams, to climbing the corporate ladder, strength is one of the highest values in our culture. Mercy, on the other hand, often doesn’t make the cut. In a society placing more and more emphasis on power, mercy has almost become a foreign concept. So what is mercy all about and should it even matter to us?
Mercy is helping others in the midst of a need. It is about extending to someone something they don’t deserve. The merciful see a need and do something about it.
In reality, mercy is a true picture of strength being used as a blessing and benefit to others in need. This is at the heart of why Jesus came for you and for me. The challenge for us is not wanting to admit that we have a need. To truly understand mercy, we must first recognize our true need.
The Bible shows us that the need we have is great. We all fall short. We need someone to step in – we need a Savior. We need a Savior who sees all our actions, thoughts, and deeds but doesn’t give us what we deserve. Instead, He took what we deserve upon Himself and gave us mercy. He saw our true need and did something about it. It is His mercy that makes us worthy. As a result, we are set free to live a life of mercy toward others.
So how can I become merciful? It is really quite simple. Recognize your need for mercy. Those who have drunk deeply from the well of mercy and grace love to offer what they have freely received. When you have really experienced the grace and mercy that comes through Jesus, mercy can’t help but spill out.
If you feel unworthy or disqualified, you are perfectly positioned to experience the gift of God’s mercy and grace. And God does not stop there! As the mercy of God floods into your life you’ll find yourself capable of extending mercy to those around you.
Adapted from a sermon by George Wright, Senior Pastor, Shandon Baptist Church, Columbia, S.C.