By Pastor Royston Smith
“Love that responds to human need in an unexpected way.”
In Matthew 9:13 we read, “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Mercy is compassion or forgiveness shown by someone who has the power to punish or harm.
Our Heavenly Father calls us to be merciful, kind, gentle, sweet and forgiving. We must be caring in the way we interact with others. E.G White wrote, “the heart of man is by nature cold and dark and unloving; whenever one manifests a spirit of mercy and forgiveness, he does it not of himself, but through the influence of the divine Spirit moving upon his heart.” Mercy is a rare commodity in our world today.
We are all ‘cracked pots’ and ‘broken vessels’ sitting by life’s road seeking mercy and help to lighten our burdens and lead us to the promised land. We are all in need of mercy. Matthew 5: 7 states, “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”
No one is perfect.
God knows that we have all fallen short of His glory. Frequently mentioned in the scriptures is the mercy God provides for our sins, all we must do is to repent. Mercy matters now more than ever, in a world where the rich are getting richer and the poor ever poorer. While the ‘haves’ are wasting their abundance, the have nots are scrapping to make ends meet. Mercy matters.
Often, the mighty use their power to push over the less able just because they can. Look at what’s happening in the Ukraine. The mighty Goliath, Russia, is destroying the cities of Ukraine inch by inch just because he is bigger, mightier, and more powerful. Mercy matters. In Colossians 3:13 (KJV) we read, “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man has a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Mercy can change us inside out!
A mother once approached Napoleon seeking a pardon for her son. The emperor replied that the young man had committed a certain offence twice and justice demanded death.
“But I don’t ask for justice,” the mother explained. “I plead for mercy.”
“But your son does not deserve mercy,” Napoleon replied.
“Sir,” the woman cried, “it would not be mercy if he deserved it, and mercy is all I ask for.”
“Well, then,” the emperor said, “I will have mercy.” And with that the woman’s son was spared.
There is strength in showing mercy. Being merciful has the power to break down barriers and rebuild broken bridges. Pure mercy has the power to reignite a broken relationship. Too often we are unmerciful and pig-headed. We would rather cutdown and destroy than extend a little mercy to a stumbling person. Our motto is “an eye for a scratch and a tooth for a pinch.” My revenge must be greater than your hurt. As children of God our daily contact with each other must be littered with compassion.
No matter how we feel about someone – as children of God, we are called to be distributors of mercy.
Lord, please let our cups overflow with love, so being merciful will always be our chosen response, in Jesus’ name. Amen