God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7 NLT
When my wife yelled, “Come here!” I knew something was wrong.
I was napping in my recliner on a Sunday afternoon when her plea for help came. Since I was only 20 feet from her, I asked, “Can’t you just tell me what you want?”
Knowing which side of my bread was buttered, I went. She was staring at a stack of Christmas decoration we had recently purchased at an estate auction. “Do you see these little things on this bag? Are they spider eggs?” I told her I supposed so, but if I sprayed them, her ornaments would be covered in poison.
“I’ll just spray them with Febreeze,” she said. Soon I heard another plea for help. When she sprayed, what looked like eggs immediately transformed into baby spiders. I quickly retrieved the Dust Buster, sucked them up, and emptied the contents in the yard. We were trying to show mercy—and preserve our sale of goods, but it was difficult. All we could imagine was these critters crawling on us at night and biting us.
According to Jesus, I’ll be happy when I show mercy to others, and I’ll be blessed by God in return. He didn’t say it would be easy…just that I’d be happy and blessed. Showing mercy to the spiders was challenging. Exterminating them would have been much easier. Showing mercy to spiders might seem insignificant—and a bit crazy, but the principle remains. It’s very difficult to show mercy to some people and in some circumstances.
The ways I can show mercy are numerous. While I have to be careful of my motives when I demonstrate mercy to others, my obligation to do so remains—and God gives me the ability to do it. When I think of the mercy God has shown by allowing His Son to die for humanity’s sins, and when I think of the many ways He has shown me mercy when I didn’t deserve it, I can’t find any excuse for not giving it to others—regardless of who they are or what they’ve done to me or society as a whole.
When you’re tempted to withhold mercy for what might appear a good reason, remember God’s mercy to you.
Prayer: Father, we praise You for the mercy that flows our way each day. Enable us to channel it to others.