Thursday, April 1, 2010

Be Merciful

You know that person. The one who irritates you.  The one who so successfully sets you to fuming and ranting.  The one you want to knock upside the head and shout for them to get over themselves.

Yep, I have one of those in my life.

At times she makes it extremely hard for me to be kind. I want to shake her by the shoulders and tell her all that is boiling in my mind.  I want to unleash the fury that builds up inside me over her callousness.

Yet God calls us to be merciful.

Luke 6:36 says, “Be merciful just as your Father is merciful.”

Merriam Webster defines mercy this way: compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender.

Oh yeah, I’ve been offended alright! I’ve been hurt and irritated and frustrated. But, when I calm down and sort through the situation I realize I need to not make it about me.  About how I have been wronged.  Even if what has been said or done is hurtful, it doesn’t do me any good to pay those hurts back in the same manner.  It doesn’t say much about my character either, if I bemoan my situation to others. Of if I dwell on it and become bitter.

When our Lord Jesus was dying on the cross He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34.  Jesus is the perfect example of how I should respond to those who offend or hurt me. He is the picture of perfect love. It needs to be about mercy, not revenge.  The Lord has shown me his mercy many times over. He is willing to forgive me even when I repeat the same sin again and again.  He is compassionate and generous with his love. 

Love.  It is mercy. It is empathy.  It is compassion. It is softness. It is understanding. It is meekness. It is forgiveness. If I have love even for those I deem unlovable, the dirty,  the immoral, the rude, the hurtful, the selfish, the sniveling, the addicted, the crude, the mean, then I am loving as the Lord commands me to.  And as I love I will be merciful.

Today I will be seeking forgiveness from the Lord for being unmerciful to the one who rubbed me the wrong way with her harsh words.  Today I will open up my mind and heart.  I will remind myself that I do not know completely what is going on in her life to make her respond in the manner that she did. Today I will not harbor any ill feelings towards her. Maybe she just needs a hug. But, while I’m hugging her I’ll have to remember the importance of mercy or I might be tempted to hug the very breath out of her! Today I will show mercy.  I will forgive. I will be compassionate. I will have empathy. I will love.

Most importantly I will remember God’s great mercy for me a sinner, when He sent His ONLY Son to die on the cross for me.  May I absorb and reflect that mercy in my life.


Finally, all of you should be of one mind, full of sympathy towards one another, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds.  Don’t repay evil for evil.  Don’t retaliate when people say unkind things about you.  Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do, and he will bless you for it.   I Peter 3:8-9


  1. Wow! This was a good smack between the eyes this morning and re-iterated what God has been talking to me about lately. Thanks for this post. L.O.V.E. IT!

  2. This was such an excellent post, I needed this reminder and encouragement today. I have been dealing with some of the same things.
    Thank you!

  3. This is so true to all of us. No matter how many time's we're in church, or pray, or read the bible beggin' for forgiveness...we all have those people who all they have to do is walk in the room and they rub us the wrong way. This was so well written, sweetie and we all need to remember to pay them back with a blessing. {{{SIGH}}}}, nobody said it was gonna be easy!

    Have the best day, sweetie!!!

  4. Powerful post!! I'm dealing with a similiar situation myself.
    Matthew: 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; I invite you to please come to my blog and read the post from March 5th, titled Each Day, it's from Max Lucado and it is a wonderful daily reminder, please come and read the passage and hopefully be blessed! Let me know what you think :) Blessings to you!! ~Amy

  5. Great post.
    I've been tempted to hug the breath out of some people too.:)

  6. "Kill`em with kindness."

    Wow!! You know what I think is good... Jenn? You know how to get it out of your system. You don't hold it in and dwell on it or mull over it... like I would. And in so-doing you've used self-control. You've written it all out and evaulated your heart, and more-so your response.

    I hear a heart that is soft to God grace... and desiring to exemplify that towards those that "hurt you".

    That's so encouraging. Thanks for your example.

  7. I don't know if my previous comment took or not. But no sooner then 10 minutes of reading this post and leaving my "other" comment... did I happen to recieve a phone call that pretty much "challenged" my response. I'm STILL feeling the challenge to be merciful.

    (((sigh))) as Nezzie commneted, "nobody said it was going to be easy". And, actually all of the previous commenter's thoughts apply to me as well.

    I've been thinking since this phone call... that as hard as it is to take some ones slander - it's, in a way, God's Kindness.
    Because if we ALWAYS think that we're A-okay with everyone - ALL OF THE TIME...But because we're NOT! then we would never a godly direction. ((uhmmm))

  8. piecing together this is something that we can only learn by going through.

    praise GOd you went thur it!

    am writing a bible study on "rejection" it's along the same thanks for sharing this post :)

  9. Thanks for the reminder, Jenn!

  10. I needed to read your blog today. I totally lost it on my kids today. I should have been merciful. They kept breaking or destroying stuff, not on purpose, just pure carelessness. It was so frustrating and I'm exhausted, so it was a bad combo. I've repented to both them and God. I'm still feeling guilty, which I know I need to take this to the Lord too, because He is merciful!

  11. You're a wise woman, friend. This is a REALLY hard thing for us to do, especially we emotional women :)

    But it's true, acting the same way is just plain...well, silly.

    Happy Easter!

  12. Well said! Yes, I have a few people like that in my life. What drives me crazy are the people who act like martyrs when things don't go their way. I know how to graciously deal with them on the outside, but on the inside, I'm just fuming! I get tired of being manipulated and have a hard time forgiving.

    Thank you again. Some great things to think about.

  13. Today, I will love. Sometimes that is the biggest decision of our day. Well said, Jenn. Thanks for the extra push. Blessings.

  14. Great post Jenn! How wonderful that we don't have to do it in our own strength ~ in fact, we are not meant to! The LORD gives ALL we need in these situations and very often at the last minute (it seems)! Hang in are going to the SOURCE of all mercy when you turn to HIM for grace. What a blessing to belong to HIM and HE will NEVER forsake us or treat us wrongly...we are safe with HIM! :)


  15. Jenn,
    I just read this post on 4/5 morning. I have been fumming over a situation since Thursday that effects our boys education. Let me tell you I kept my cool but on the inside I was flaming. We are changing schools for a lot of reason that will benefit our boys and family. But it is not going over well at all with their current school staff members.

  16. I really needed that today! I have been struggling for several years with forgiveness of this person in my life and that post really opened my eyes to some things! Thank you!


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