Someone said: Grace is getting what we don’t deserve and mercy is not getting what we do deserve!” And I think that sums it up pretty well. We talk a lot about grace and most of us seem to be pretty good at sharing it, at least with people that we like?!?
Mercy is often a little bit more of a challenge. I don’t think it’s because we don’t need it or because we have not receieved it. I think it’s probably because we don’t want to admit to ourselves or others that we need it, but we do need it and in a more desperate way than we might imagine.
The fact that we are sitting here, reading these words is a testimony to the reality that God gives us mercy, because everyone of us should have been taken off of the board a long time ago, but God, Who is rich in mercy, loves us and had seen fit to forgive us and give us space and grace to grow into what He knows we can be.
If we will be honest with ourselves, we can look back on our lives and see time after time where we have made mistakes, missed the mark, not measured up, just flat blown it, but God is loving, patient, kind, gracious and merciful. Look back – can you see it? It’s beautiful, when you actually take the time to look back and aprreciate it.
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” -Matthew 18:21-22
Now if God shows us mercy for our mistakes/sins/failures and allows us to begin again, then we should do the very same thing for one another. God’s gifts of love, grace, mercy, forgiveness and restoration are woven into the tapesty of the Universe for all of us to receive and share.
Be sure to take all of the good things that God has given you and share them with others and one of the greatest ways to do that is by not giving people the wrath, judgment and condemnation we think they might deserve, but instead the gifts of love, grace and mercy. Now that is a beautiful gift that keeps on giving…