A few months ago, I was challenged to pick a word to summarize what I needed to work on the most this year. The first word that came to mind was mercy. A lot of people commented that they thought this was an odd word. How could mercy be hard? What is so difficult about showing mercy? Some said that I seemed like too nice of a person to have issues with showing mercy. However, this is something I have struggled with.
I have been hurt many times by many people. I may be quick to forgive them, but I have issues showing mercy. The problem is truth gets in the way. The truth hurts sometimes. I’m not talking God’s truth, by the way; I’m talking about truth as we perceive it. Let me give an example. When my husband says or does something that hurts me in some way, my truth says “What a jerk!” “ He doesn’t deserve me ever being nice to him again!” and “He doesn’t really love me or he wouldn’t treat me like that!” But mercy says, “He’s your husband. You made a promise to love, honor, and cherish”, “Treat him the way you want to be treated,” and “Love him the way Christ loves him.” But mercy is SO hard for me! If someone hurts me, I want him/her to hurt. If someone is mean to me, I want to be mean to him/her. If someone makes me feel left out and alone, I want him/her to feel that way too. And THIS is why I am committed to working on mercy.
In one of the books I use during my devotion time, Sparkling Gems from the Greek, I came across a passage this past week that was talking about Judas Iscariot betraying Jesus and how Jesus never treated Judas with the way truth said he should be treated. He showed him mercy beyond any mercy we’ve ever known. Jesus knew what Judas was going to do even before Judas knew he was going to do it, and yet he chose to show mercy. There were a few sentences in this passage for that day that struck me right in the heart.
“If that person chooses not to respond to the mercy, grace, and patience that is being poured out to him through you, he will have to live with the results of his decisions. Just make sure that you fulfill what God is requiring of you in this relationship. It may seem difficult to do, but you need to be thankful that God has kindly entrusted you with the responsibility of giving that person another chance!”
Ugh. Right in the heart. God has entrusted me. Me. If He is the God of second chances, why do I feel like I cannot give people a second chance? How would the lives of the people around me change if I chose to show mercy instead of responding to the truth of the situation? What a witness to them if they could see God’s love and mercy through me in the way I treat them after they have hurt me!
So that’s my word I’m working on, and I’m doing pretty well…this week.
Luke 6:36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
By Lisa Powell/@mamaof3gs