Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Happiness from Showing Mercy

Chuckle: A child's prayer: "Dear God, it is great the way you always get the stars in the right place. Why can't you do that with the moon?" Jeff
Quote: “Who will not mercy unto others show, How can he mercy ever hope to have?” --Edmund Spenser
"Blessed (happy) are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy" (Matthew 5:7 NIV)
The story is told of a mother who sought from Napoleon the pardon of her son. The Emperor said it was the man's second offense, and justice demanded his death. "I don't ask for Justice," she said. "I plead for mercy." "But," said the Emperor, "he does not deserve mercy." "Sir," cried the mother, "it would not be mercy if he deserved it, and mercy is all I ask." "Well then," said the Emperor, "I will show mercy." And her son was saved.
It's mercy, not justice, that each of us needs from our Lord. In a parable, Jesus said, "Shouldn't you have mercy on your fellow servant just as I have had mercy on you?"  (Matthew 18:33 NIV). John Wesley once visited General Oglethorpe governor of the colony of Georgia. The General mentioned a man who had angered him and said, "I shall never forgive him!" Wesley replied, "Then I hope, sir, you never sin."
Are you living today with deep resentments toward someone who has done you wrong in the past? Have you allowed resentment to turn into burning anger and rage? If so, is your motive to have revenge and get even? Living without showing mercy is a prelude to dying without receiving mercy. But, showing mercy to others will result in your being treated with mercy. As Jesus said it: "Blessed (happy) are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy."
The word for "mercy" appears many times in Scripture. Sometimes it is rendered as "mercy," at others, "kindness," or "lovingkindness." Mercy, as demonstrated by Jesus, involves the way a person truly feels. Mercy is to see others as Christ sees them and feel toward others as he feels toward them. In short, mercy is to have the attitude of Christ toward everyone. It is unconditional and equal compassion and forgiveness for everyone -- even when they don't deserve kindness or forgiveness.
God shows his love and mercy to each one of us in that "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). If we have an attitude of mercy, our actions will reflect it. When Springtime comes, it can't be kept a secret because it has too many expressions (blooming plants, singing birds, green leaves, etc.). Having a merciful heart makes itself known in a multitude of ways by your actions toward others.
If we show mercy as God has shown us mercy, we will be kind and gracious to others and quick to forgive. We will always look for the best in people. Redemption, not condemnation, will be our concern. If we are merciful, we will strive to lighten the loads of others by our actions, not by just our words and feelings. Even when you may have every right to be resentful, the practice of mercy will help you forgive. Happiness will then come from reflecting on God's mercy to you and from knowing you have shown mercy, a characteristic of God himself.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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