How Merciful are you?
- What is Mercy? The word translated mercy(eleeo) means to be compassionate. Mercy is beautifully pictured in Jesus’ parable, the Good Samaritan, in which a man was brutally beaten, robbed, and left on the side of the road to die. A Levite (a layman in the Temple) and a priest apathetically passed by him, but a Samaritan stopped and helped him. Notice the question Jesus asked in Luke 10:36….Notice the answer in V.37: He that showeth mercy on him. Go and do thou likewise. Mercy reveals itself not only in compassion but also in forgiveness. Mercy is also patience with people. It is God’s mercy that causes Him to be patient with us and not immediately judge us and punish our sins. Read I Timothy 1:16.
What is mercy? It is compassion, forgiveness, and patience.
- How can we be merciful? It is not enough to know what mercy is; we must be merciful. To be merciful, we must do at least three things.
- We must be patient with difficult people. On a regular basis in this world we all encounter difficult people. Some are arrogant, others can be obnoxious, some are whiners, some are dishonest, and others are strange. One of the most obvious attributes of merciful people is patience with difficult people. Notice Eph. 4:2. To be patient with difficult people, we must try to understand them. Difficult people usually have had a difficult life. Understanding a person’s hurt, loneliness, and insecurities helps us be patient with them.
- We must help those in need. When someone is in a legitimate (key word) need, and we have the means but do not help them, we may not be merciful. Perhaps the greatest need is a listening ear. Merciful people always make time to listen.
- We must forgive those who hurt us. This is the most difficult part of being merciful. Mercy doesn’t hold grudges, never retaliates, and doesn’t keep count of hurts. The real test of mercy comes when the same people hurt us over and over. What is the limit of our mercy? Peter asked that question. Matthew 18:22. There is to be no limit to our mercy.
- Why should we be merciful?
- Refusing to be merciful is wickedness. Matthew 18:23-35.
- Being merciful is the only way to obtain mercy. Matthew 5:7.
- Being merciful makes us more like God. Luke 6:36.
- Being merciful makes us happy.The most miserable people I know are unmerciful folks who refuse to share, who refuse to forgive those who hurt them, and who are impatient with difficult people.
What changes do you need to make in your life so you can be more merciful?