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In our last nugget we spoke on giving mercy to ourselves. This is very critical. If we are not able to love ourselves and give mercy to ourselves, we will not be able to give mercy to others.
Giving Mercy to Others
One of the big hindrances that stops people from giving mercy to others is ‘we do not believe they deserve mercy’. The reality is none of us deserve mercy. The Bible says, "There is none righteous, not even one;” Romans 3:10.
Mercy is not given because it is deserved. It is given because of the loving kindness of Almighty God. Our Heavenly Father sees the plight of someone and chooses to give them mercy–compassion, pity, forbearance, sympathy. His heart is touched with their need and He gives out a blessing to them. Instead of them reaping the consequences of their actions or the action of others, they are given a blessing. That is the love of God.
Meaningful mercy is given out when we have allowed our heart to be pricked by the circumstances of the one needing mercy. Are you struggling with giving mercy to someone? Then imagine yourself in their circumstances. Imagine how they are feeling. Imagine their pain, fear, loneliness, confusion, suffering-whatever it may be. Ask the Lord to give you empathy so that you can share sympathy. Do not dwell on how they got into their situation-whether it is their fault or not. Do not dwell on how they could have prevented their circumstances. Mercy does not care about this. Just give mercy. Counsel if needed, can always come afterwards.
Don’t forget the story of Job. He needed mercy, not someone telling him why it was his fault that he was suffering. It wasn’t even his fault for his suffering.
So how do you show
'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;  naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' Matthew 25:35-36
You see a need and you try to fulfill the need. Also realize that the real need may be deeper than what you see on the surface.
If you can only see God the Father as a punishing God you will have a hard time giving mercy to yourself and others. Our Heavenly Father is a loving God who sometimes must discipline and punish His children. It breaks His heart to see His children suffer the consequences of their sinful behavior. In His divine wisdom, He sometimes forestalls punishment and gives mercy, hoping His child will see His love and chose to not ‘misbehave’ again. Mercy is given to reveal the love of God with the desire that it will draw the person to their Heavenly Father.
In our next nugget we will discuss the balance between Mercy and Justice.
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Copyright © 2002 Richard D. Dover. All rights reserv
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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations used are from the New American Standard Version (NASB).