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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Seven Characteristics of Mercy To Learn And Practice

In review of James 3:17 it says, "But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere."

Bottom Line:
The wisdom that comes from above leads us to be pure, friendly, gentle, sensible, kind, helpful, genuine, and sincere.

What this means to me:
The wisdom I get from following Jesus allows me to be pure, friendly, gentle, sensible, kind, helpful, genuine, and sincere in what I do.

Mercy is much like a diamond; it is multi-faceted. Learning to become an agent of God’s kind of mercy will greatly help me in any of my relationships. Below are seven characteristics of mercy that I want to incorporate into my life.

Mercy demonstrated in my life means being patient with other’s quirks. Obtaining patience for my relationships comes from being wise.  James 3:17a says, “The wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy” (NLT). The wiser I become, the more patient and merciful I become.

Mercy means helping anyone around me who is hurting. I cannot love my neighbor as myself without being merciful. Proverbs 3:27 says, “Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it” (TEV). God is not simply watching what I do. He’s watching my attitude: “[When you] show mercy, do it cheerfully” (Romans 12:8 NIV).

Mercy means giving people a second chance. When someone hurts me, my first inclination is to get even or else write that person off. Scripture tells me, “Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don’t yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ” (Ephesians 4:31-32 CEV).

Mercy means doing good to those who hurt me. Mercy is giving people what they need, not what they deserve. Why should I do it? Because that’s what God does with me: “Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because [God] is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:35-36 NIV).

Mercy means being kind to those who may offend me. I’ve got to be more interested in winning people to Christ than in winning the argument. Jude 1:22-23 says, “Show mercy to those who have doubts. Save others by snatching them from the fire of hell. Show mercy to others, even though you are afraid that you might be stained by their sinful lives” (GW).

Mercy means me building bridges of love to the unpopular. I intentionally build friendships with people who don’t have friends or who are not accepted at work or in society. When the Pharisees questioned why Jesus ate with tax collectors and other unpopular people, Jesus said, “‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners” (Matthew 9:13b NLT).

Lastly, mercy means valuing relationships over rules. Romans 13:10 says, “Love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.” If I want to show mercy, put people before policies. Put their needs before procedures. Put relationships before regulations. Choose love over law.

Today, I should consider how I can be intentional this week about showing mercy to others around me, especially those who are hurting.

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