Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us….
Psalm 123:3a (NIV)
Mercy (mur-see) n. 1. compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power; compassion, pity, or benevolence. 2. the discretionary power of a judge to pardon someone or to mitigate punishment, especially to send to prison rather than invoke the death penalty. 3. something that gives evidence of divine favor; blessing.
Sometimes we lose sight of what words really mean. Throughout God’s Message I read cries for mercy and calls for mercy. I regularly plead for God’s mercy. But, do I ever really stop to consider what that really means? I read the three definitions pasted above and find in each of them a slightly different but wholly apt nuance of the word.
I need God’s compassionate and kindly forbearance because despite my best efforts I keep testing God’s patience with my repeated offenses, my moral faults and my personal shortcomings.
I need God’s discretionary power to pardon and mitigate just punishment for my condemnable thoughts, words, acts and omissions.
I desire daily evidence of divine favor and blessing.
At the same instance, I am reminded this morning of Jesus’ words, “blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
I need to show compassion and kindly forbearance towards those who have offended me.
I need to pardon those who have perpetrated hurtful thoughts, words, and actions towards me.
I need to give tangible favor and blessing to others who do not deserve it.
This morning I prepare for the day mindful of the truth that it is totally improper of me to pray for God’s mercy if I am unwilling to show mercy to others.