Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:5-6
Jesus teaches his followers (in the fifth Beatitude) that those who have been shown mercy share mercy (Matthew 5:7). Frequently mentioned by Jesus, mercy is the topic for some of the most famous stories in the Gospels. One of these is the parable of the Good Samaritan. In this story, Jesus tells of the merciful actions of a Samaritan toward a man who had been severely beaten, robbed and left near death. Having compassion on a Jew in desperate need, he stops and provides immediate (and long-term) aid. He did this even though Samaritans were hated and despised by the Jews. Mercy is compassion in action. Before he provided help, the Samaritan “took pity on him.” Compassion is what he felt— mercy is what he did. He did this even though he was interrupted and inconvenienced.
A person who shares mercy with others is continually inconvenienced. This happens when we invite the new kid to join our group at the school lunch table, spend an hour playing UNO with the widower on our block who just lost his wife, grab a cup of coffee and just listen to someone who’s going through some incredibly difficult things or help the family whose van just broke down and have no other vehicle. These things interrupt our plans and can be inconvenient.
Kingdom-oriented people have experienced the mercy of God and extend that mercy to others. To grow in mercy, we must be willing to be inconvenienced and interrupted. It’s the only way.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Consider where you need to move from compassion to mercy. Pray this prayer, “Father, thank you for your mercy that I’ve experienced in my life. Help me to share that mercy with others. Show me one area today where I can move from compassion to actively help someone. Amen.”
NEW TESTAMENT READING PLAN
Join us this year as we read through the New Testament.
Today’s reading is 1 Corinthians 9.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.