God wants us to love mercy, not just to be alright with it or just suggest that someone be shown mercy. We are told to have passion, devotion and tenderness toward mercy which is an act of showing forgiveness or clemency. We are to be delighted when someone is shown forgiveness and is not disciplined or given the hardest reprimand allowed because of their error, as true followers of Christ we rejoice in God’s mercy.
Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? NKJ
We often see people who want to seek revenge or demand an eye for an eye when it comes to their injuries or injustices. Some people feel they are justified in wanting harsh penaltiesof others because of what they have experienced or seen in how others were treated differently. They want just as much, if not more punishment to be given to the perpetrator or violator. Some people are punished harshly because of their class, culture or socioeconomic background and they somehow feel cheated. This is all part of the pride of life, in that we want to be esteemed as great as others or at least vindicated to the same extent. But we are called to love mercy in whatever form it may arise, knowing God is the ultimate judge who judges justly.
1 Peter2:23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously. NKJ
God has shown us His way, which is to do justly. That is, we are to give everyone impartial treatment as it pertains to usdoing the right thing for the right reasons, to walk truthfully and in integrity, without looking for it in return. That is the requirement that we are to set for ourselves. We are to love mercy; we should be devoted to showing forgiveness and celebrate it with passionate, open-hearted gladness when it is shown to others. We should not seek out punishment toward others, but should always look to show mercy and forgiveness no matter the situation, as God has forgiven us.
Jesus showed us how-to walk-in mercy and forgiveness. On the night Jesus was betrayed He washed the feet of His disciples including the one who betrayed Him, to be put to death. Jesus gave broken bread to those who were with Him as a symbol of His body that would be broken for them and He poured the wine as a representation of His blood that would be poured outfor humanity. We are told to remember Christ every time we take part in the act of communion, the one who gave His life for many. For this reason, God requires mercy of His children.
1 Corinthians 11:24-25 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” NKJ
In this western culture most people are judged by the standards of those around them, also that which is popular is allowed to determine what is perceived to be right and socially acceptable. We are now seeing a constant clamoring for greater punishment and penalties for some of the more minor offences. Most people find it hard to show God’s loving kindness and His tender mercies toward others. Forgiveness is paramount with God; it is a chief and dominant thing because it is an expression of His love.
Matthew 6:14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
To love mercy and forgiveness is a lifestyle, a way of life that we choose to live and it is a practiced skill. To constantly show mercy and forgiveness is something we learn and exercise over time until it becomes second nature to us. Just as any new skill or talent in which we want to become competent or good at, it takes time and the constant repetition until we becomeproficient. We must change the way we view and judge others so that we may line up with God’s kingdom principle of mercy and forgiveness. The world may give limited mercy and forgiveness but Jesus told Peter to forgive seven times seventy, (490) that is so many times that we will not be able to keep track of the number of times we offer forgiveness.
Matthew 18:22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven time, but up to seventy times seven. NKJ
Matthew 18:32-35 Then the master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due him. “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” NKJ
To love mercy is required by God of His Children. God’s love and mercy was shown to us at a great cost to God, the death of His Son Jesus on the cross. In comparison, it is a small thing for us to show mercy and love to those who have wronged us but ittakes dying to self and pride and also humbling of ourselves before God.
Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God? EVS