“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:36
Have you been wronged? Hurt? Betrayed?
How will you get through it? Heal? Forgive? Be free?
By showing mercy.
Jesus was notorious for setting standards above and beyond the norm. And though many times His convicting words leave us uncomfortable in our own skin, when we follow them we learn that everything He says is for our good always.
The standard Jesus has set for mercy is impeccable. He leaves no room for us to harbor a grudge or bitterness towards another.
If you have been utterly betrayed or deeply hurt you may find some payoff initially by withholding mercy, but the long-term effects are detrimental. You will become a different person, yet not for the good. Your lack of mercy will be a poison not only to you physically and mentally but to those around you. Your influence will be hindered and you will not be emulating your Father. Your anger over sins may not be bad, however, anger needs to be given its rightful place and not be allowed to fester into something that causes you not to be merciful; otherwise, you will become trapped in a vicious cycle of bitter emotions that will steal away the joy God has promised through Christ. And the funny thing about all this is, all this prolonged animosity is more so harming you and not the person who did you wrong. Even more concerning is that in the end, God has promised to show you mercy in the same way you have shown others mercy. What a scary thought!
The only way out of the vicious cycle of bitterness is through mercy. Mercy never means that there aren’t consequences to sinful actions, and sometimes those consequences must be sought, but Jesus shows us that mercy means we pray and do good to those who have wronged us, considering our own evil deeds and the mercy our loving Father has shown us in spite of them. Not one person who has lived on this earth has a claim to being faultless except Jesus, and He showed the greatest mercy of any man who ever lived.
Mercy has been my saving grace in overcoming my most challenging hurts. I have found that when I have stewed about the wrongs done against me and how horrible and unbelievable they were, I only felt worse and it hindered my healing. On the other hand, when I focused on a perspective of mercy, reminding myself of my faults, and allowing myself to give my anger over to God, peace and love would eventually find me. Praying for and doing good to those that did me wrong to the best of my ability, even when it felt so unfair, only heightened the rate in which I felt forgiveness. Mercy made me free from the ruinous trap I so desperately needed to escape.
Our Father is merciful. Let us be just as He is. It will be for our good always!
Merciful Father, how You teach me what it means to overcome the most difficult challenges in my life. Your Son has instructed me to be merciful just as You are. This mercy is what gives me freedom from a detrimental trap. Thank you for giving me the strength to do the hard things that are not natural for my healing. Thank you that I can look unto Jesus not only as the ultimate expression of mercy, but as my joy, peace, and hope no matter the wrongs I suffer. I know I am not faultless. Please forgive me and help me to remember this when I want to harbor ill-will. Help me to do good to those who have sinned against me. I pray that they will repent of their evil deeds and find grace and love through Your merciful Son. Amen.
Truth in love,