Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
I fired off a careful yet hastily written email. I told myself, “Someone needs to tell him what he did wrong!” I felt justified in providing corrective feedback. His reply was equally defensive and protective of his own point of view. It seemed that my feedback was not received. In hindsight, I realized we had not worked together long. Who was I to judge?
The measure I had given was indeed the measure I received in return.
The Hebrew word “racham,” the word we translate as mercy, is closely associated with the word “womb.” God’s mercy is like a mother’s love in the womb that creates, nurtures, and protects. It is life-giving compassion. Mercy calls us to care for one another as if they were our own.
The next day I received an email from my colleague with an invitation for us to talk through our concerns in person. Maybe there is something I’m not fully understanding? Is there some way for us to resolve this together?
Ahh… this is mercy! We experience mercy when we stand face-to-face, when we assume the best possible intentions, and when we desire that which will most benefit the other.
Where am I in need of mercy today? How am I called to be merciful to others?
—Beth Knobbe is an author and ministry professional based in Chicago, IL. She blogs at www.bethknobbe.com .
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all my being bless God’s name; bless the Lord, and forget not God’s benefits.
God pardons all your iniquities, and comforts your sorrows, redeems your life from destruction and crowns you with kindness.
Merciful, merciful, and gracious is our God; slow to anger, abounding in kindness.
The Lord is kind and merciful, the Lord is kind and merciful.
—Psalm 103: 1-2, 2-3, 8; para. by Marty Haugen. © 1983, GIA Publications, Inc.
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