Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7)
The quality of mercy is not strain’d, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest; It blesseth him that gives and him that takes: ‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes The throned monarch better than his crown; His sceptreshows the force of temporal power, The attribute to awe and majesty, Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings; But mercy is above this sceptred sway; It is enthroned in the hearts of kings, It is an attribute to God himself; (Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice).
Mercy is the Glory of God
After spending eighty days on top of the mountain, speaking face to face with God and seeing His form, Moses asked to see His glory (i.e., he asked to see God’s most powerful quality). (Exodus 33:18) God then appears to Moses and declares that His glory, His most powerful quality is Mercy! (Exodus 34:6)
Mercy is God’s supply system for every need everywhere. Mercy is that kindness, compassion, and tenderness that is a passion for suffering with or participating in, another’s ills or evils to relieve, heal, and restore. It accepts another freely and gladly as they are and supplies the needed good of life to build them up and to bring to peace and keep them in peace. It is to take another into one’s heart JUST AS HE/SHE IS and cherish and nourish them there. Mercy takes another’s sins, evils, and faults as its own, and frees the other by bearing them to God. This is the Glow-of-love. This is the anointing. This is the power of God. (2) This is what draws mankind to repentance from sin (Romans 2:4. Psalms 103:13,14)
Mercy in the Old Covenant is the acting, the doing, of the God who in the New Covenant is unveiled in Christ Jesus as Love. (1 John 4:8) Just as in the New Covenant the truth of the Eternal Father-Being is that He is love, even so in the Old Covenant behind the veil the truth of Him was made known that He is mercy. Mercy is love in action or lovingkindness.
On Attaining Perfection
We are commanded to be perfect even as God is perfect (Matthew 5:48). Since God is fair and just this must be attainable. The command to “be perfect” means to “be merciful.” (Luke 6:36) That is, we are perfect in God’s eyes when we are merciful! This mercy is demonstrated when we love our enemies and pray for those that persecute us (Matthew 5:43-47)
Two Kinds of Judgment
There are two types of judgment, according to:
– Appearance and accusation of evil (condemnation). We are NOT to judge this way (Matthew 7:1-5).
– Truth and mercy (righteous judgment). We are to judge this way (John 7:24. John 5:30).
The human heart is a judgment seat before which everyone passes who is seen or thought of in our minds. All-day long we are seated as a judge in the court of our unseen heart; unseen that is to man, but not to God. Judging others – ceaselessly all day, day by day, and sometimes by night. Judging, judging, measuring everyone and everything. We judge by whims, and feelings, and fancies. By what we like and by what we do not like. We are the center and judgment is according to what people do or not do in our favor and for our glory and satisfaction. We judge by appearance. We judge others based on their performance but ourselves based on our good intentions. We do not always need full and sufficient evidence because we love ourselves and in that self-love, we think that we know what is right. Realize, when we judge others, we are judging God (i.e., the servant’s Master) and He is able to “make them stand.” (Romans 14:4,13. James 4:11,12) That is, anything we do to others we do to God. (Matthew 25:40)
Consequently, failing to give mercy we are given NO mercy! The human heart is a judgment seat before which everyone passes who is seen or thought of in our minds. All-day long we are seated as a judge in the court of our unseen heart; unseen that is to man, but not to God. Judging others – ceaselessly all day, day by day, and sometimes by night. Judging, judging, measuring everyone and everything. We judge by whims, and feelings, and fancies. By what we like and by what we do not like. We are the center and judgment is according to what people do or not do in our favor and for our glory and satisfaction. We judge by appearance. We judge others based on their performance but ourselves based on our good intentions. We do not always need full and sufficient evidence because we love ourselves and in that self-love, we think that we know what is right. Realize, when we judge others, we are judging God (i.e., the servant’s Master) and He is able to “make them stand.” (Romans 14:4,13. James 4:11,12) That is, anything we do to others we do to God. (Matthew 25:40) Consequently, failing to give mercy we are given NO mercy!
However, if we judge according to mercy, we will find mercy increasing in our lives. (Matthew 5:7) If we use on others the measure of mercy that God has used on us, then that mercy will be measured to us and with an increase (Luke 6:38). Mercy is the only type of judgment you want, or are able, to bear. Therefore, we must become doers of the word of mercy! Whenever we are tempted to judge condemning a situation, we must change that to mercy. This can be done be praying a simple prayer – Heavenly Father, please flood this one with mercy to meet all of their needs.(2) When you pray for FLOODS of God’s mercy to fulfill the need of anyone, we are judging and measuring that which takes away our own weakness and blindness and fills us with the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Mercy! (James 2:12,13). The measure which you use for others is the very same measure which will be used for you. (Matthew 7:1,2) That is, with your own measure you will be measured!
Now that is something to have a BEAUTIFUL ATTITUDE about!
Thank you, Jesus, for teaching me the importance of forgiving others. Please help me to remember all the people who have hurt me so that I can forgive them from my heart. Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross that I might be forgiven. I am sorry for my own sins, and I ask You to be my Savior and the Lord of my life. And now please forgive me for the things that I have done wrong. Please help me to forgive from my heart all the people on my list. I now choose to forgive [insert the name of the person you are forgiving] for [insert a brief description of what was done to you], and I release [insert the person’s name] into the freedom of my forgiveness. I will not hold these things against [insert the person’s name] anymore. Thank You, Lord, for helping me forgive [insert the name of the person you are forgiving]. I ask now that You set me free from every ungodly influence that [insert the person’s name] has had on my life an that You cut the ropes that have held me tightly to the pain of the past. I’m sorry, God, for blaming You for the bad things that have happened in my life. I now know You did not want these things to happen either. Please forgive me. Amen
Cooperating with the Justice of the Lord (2 Corinthians 10:3-6. 1 Corinthians 5:4,5. 1 Timothy 1:20)
How are we to respond if someone falsely accuses (1) us of doing wrong? We are to follow the example Jesus gave on the cross and pray for them to have forgiveness (mercy includes forgiveness) (Luke 23:34. Matthew 5:43-45. Matthew 7:12. Luke 6:27-31. Romans 12:14, 21.1 John 5:16) What if their slanderous accusations lead to our being let go from where we work? (Leviticus 19:16. Proverbs 6:16-19. Romans 8:28,29) Pray for them to have God’s mercy! It could be that you are a reluctant entrepreneur and God is using this egregious and unfair situation to launch you into your true destiny. (James 1:2-4) Should you reprove them or pay them back for their slanderous accusations? No, not if you want God to address the situation! (Proverbs 9:7; 23:9. Leviticus 19:18. Romans 12:17. Matthew 5:38-42) Realize, either we deal with the situation or God, but He will not be part of our vengeance. Therefore, if you choose to turn the situation over to God (Philippians 4:6,7. 1 Peter 5:6,7), by praying for them to have His mercy, then He will pass righteous judgment upon the situation. If you are not ready to pray for mercy for them, then still go to God to reason with Him until He fills you with His mercy for them (Isaiah 1:18. Psalms 55. Psalms 73).
God’s judgments (1) are fair but exceedingly and eternally firm. Furthermore, He considers it a righteous thing to repay those that trouble His children (i.e., children that are living in love and mercy) (Genesis 12:3 .Psalms 105:14,15. Isaiah 54:17. Romans 12:19. 2 Thessalonians 1:6) Nevertheless, God in His infinite mercy moves slowly in executing vengeance in order to give all involved an opportunity to change their ways (i.e., repent) (2 Peter 3:9) For example, as I have learned to live in mercy towards those that have tried to cause me harm (e.g., by sidetracking my career), I have seen God move them out from my situation to a harsh situation of their own, some having their careers sidetracked and even some losing their jobs. I have witnessed unusual natural phenomena and failures come against organizations that were treating me unfairly resulting in them being severely challenged financially. (James 5:1-4) I have seen some that were persecuting me pass away. (Hebrews 10:30,31. Acts 5:1-10) However, we must not rejoice or take pleasure in the judgment of the Lord upon those that have come against us (i.e., thinking it is a personal victory) lest He turns it from them (and potentially judge it right to be turned upon us). He would do that to teach us His children not to become just like those that were persecuting us (Job 36:17. Proverbs 24:17,18. 1 Corinthians 11:31,32. Hebrews 12:5-8. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
The Beautiful Attitudes Series:
- The Beautiful Attitudes – Part I: Blessed are the Poor in Spirit
- The Beautiful Attitudes – Part II: Blessed are those who Mourn
- The Beautiful Attitudes – Part III: Blessed are the Meek
- The Beautiful Attitudes – Part IV: Blessed are those that Hunger and Thirst
- The Beautiful Attitudes – Part V: Blessed are the Merciful
- The Beautiful Attitudes – Part VI: Blessed are the Pure in Heart
- The Beautiful Attitudes – Part VII: Blessed are the Peacemakers
- The Beautiful Attitudes – Part VIII: Blessed are those who are Persecuted
(1) Left-click on the underlined phrase to open another article in a different tab with more explanation.
(2) Adapted from: What the Bible Teaches about Mercy, Authored by Rex B. Andrews May 1, 1964, Published in 1985 by Zion Faith Homes, Zion, Illinois 60099 (See attached PowerPoints for additional study adapted from this book.)