Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Be Attitude #5: To receive MERCY you must give mercy


Matthew 5:7 (ESV) "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Matthew 5:7 "You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'carefull,' you find yourselves cared for.


Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. The disciple is a follower of Christ because he has been called and accepted by God. Having thus received mercy, he becomes in turn a channel to convey mercy to others. One who truly understands the freedom of being forgiven will share the same release with others.

On the other hand, one who refuses to forgive "breaks down the bridge over which he himself would pass." James writes, "He shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy" (James 2:3 KJV).

Jesus illustrated this in the story of the unforgiving debtor who, having been forgiven ten million dollars, was unwilling to forgive another man a mere twenty dollars! Jesus followed His model prayer by showing a direct relationship between experiencing God's grace and expressing God's grace.

The word "mercy" must be seen in its historic and positive meaning. Jesus' use of the word is based on the Hebrew word chesedh, used frequently in the Old Testament to express the unique quality of the everlasting mercy of Jehovah. The word carries the meaning of identification in the suffering of others, of going through something with another, of entering into another's problem with understanding and acceptance. And this is what God did for us in Christ; identifying with humanity and suffering on behalf of our sin.


Meaning of being Merciful:

Meaning: Compassionate, helpful, kind, giving towards the weak, sick and the poor

This beatitude hardly seems as paradoxical as some of the other beatitudes. Today, most of us would agree that it is good to be merciful to others. However, when Jesus spoke these words, it was as shocking to the audience, as some other beatitudes.

The Romans despised pity. Being merciful was rather exception.

The Pharisees were also very judgmental to others and showed little mercy. These could also be due to the common perception, that suffering was the result and deserving punishment of personal sin. Jesus accused and condemned the Pharisees for not showing mercy. (Matthew 23:23)

Jesus’ ministry was marked with the compassion, love and care for the ‘unfortunate’ of this world. And the Christians are to have same attitude. Col 3:12: -”Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion.”

Being Merciful is an action based emotion. You cannot truly be merciful or compassionate to someone, unless you really do something about it.

It is not merely feeling bad about someone’s situation, it is an emotion which prompts one to act on it.

It is one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Kindness – Gal 5:22)

Act of mercy first come from the realization that you yourself have been shown mercy by God.

Luke 6:36: -”Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

Being merciful does not always mean joining Red Cross or World Vision or some social justice organizations, but it is also to show compassion to those who are around us, with a kind word or a smile or a small “Act of Random Kindness”! (ARK)

It is a daily practice or lifestyle weather at home or workplace or in the neighborhood.

Jesus summarized it in a wonderful manner in Matthew 25:35-40, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’


"Lord, I realize that kindness and compassion are an integral part of Christian character combined with love and forgiveness. Yet, I often find myself struggling with it. Many times, I may be kind to someone out of obligation or duty, but in my heart, I find myself grumbling about it, often expecting return. But when I don’t get in return, same kindness, it can harbor bitterness. Today I choose to let go of bitterness, and unforgiveness and to show mercy to everyone, I need Your help to do this. In Jesus' name, amen!"