Are We Merciful?

For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.—Psalm 86:5

Are we plenteous with our mercy? 

Mercy is compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.  Every day we are in a position to receive mercy, but more importantly we are in a position to show mercy.  We can show mercy physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

We always want people to show us mercy, but roles are reversed and we’re the ones in a position to show that mercy, we seem to be less willing to.  We want to exert or take out our anger on others.  We want others to feel our hurt or pain.  At some point in our life we will all need mercy.  The old adage of treat people how you want to be treated should be applied here. 

The story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) is a good example.   The Samaritan could have used the fact he was a different race/culture not to help the man that had been beaten and left to die.  But he took action and helped the man.  He took care of his wounds and paid for his care.  Are we willing to show that compassion or mercy?  Many of us would not want to be bothered or say it takes too much time.

And rent your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God:  for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. –Joel 2:13

Are we slow to anger?

As mentioned above, we always want people to be merciful with us, not to get upset at us easily; but we are completely different when we are not in the vulnerable spot.  We need to be slow to anger.  We need to give people the benefit of the doubt.  We never know what that person is going through that day.  Maybe that person that is driving slowly has to go to a cancer checkup know that it’s not going to go well.  The person that is crabby at work is trying to figure out how to pay all the bills.  We never know what is going on in someone’s life that impacts their behavior.

Being slow to anger keeps our emotions under control.  When we get angry we are not thinking correctly or in a rational manner.  We are less likely to show the mercy we should, when we have anger.  As men, we need to show mercy as God does with us.  We don’t deserve his mercy and compassion, which means we should be so much more willing to show it to others. 

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