“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7
I’ll start today’s post with a question.
What do others, our spouses, our children, our friends, our co-workers and even strangers make for us more often than anything else?
Some of you may guess the answer right away and others may take a bit longer, but the answer is mistakes. We’re given mistakes from others more often than any other contribution, and if we’re honest with ourselves we’ll admit that we contribute our share of mistakes as well. We break things, we say things that hurt people, we forget appointments and promises, we get things wrong, we’re wasteful of time and resources, and we can be impatient. And almost all of these fallibilities are unintentional. We really wanted to do things better. We really did try to do things right.
Is it any wonder that as Jesus leads us deeper into our experience with him on the path of salvation that the first part of that transformation that impacts others is the grace of a merciful heart? His mercy has covered us, our mistakes, and even our rebellion, everyday of our lives and now as we draw closer to him we realize, more than ever before, that in this world of bumps and bobbles the thing others need most from us is a generous supply of mercy. And with Jesus’ example leading the way we set into each day with more of this healing gift.
But we need to not rush to quickly through this fifth beatitude. If we do we’ll miss the subtle caution or warning tucked within its nine words.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”
Did you see it? It’s easy to miss.
Hidden in there is a reminder that it’s the merciful that will obtain merciful. If we’re not merciful ultimately mercy will be withheld.
God, in his infinite love and mercy for us, continues to extend his mercy in the hope that we will learn from him, turn to him, and be transform to become more like him, but his forbearance won’t last forever. There will come a day when he’ll know that we’ll never change, we’ll never choose to love him, and he’ll stop trying to change us and then move forward in restoring his sin ravaged creation.
Mercy, is never deserved or earned. It’s a gift God’s given because we need it, and he asks us to share this gift with others because they need it from us.
You’ll never run out of mercy. What God’s given you is enough to last forever and it seems to grow and multiply the more it’s shared.
O God make me more like you. Make your mercy shine out of my life. Help me to treat others with your strength, tenderness, understanding and compassion today.