Bible Society of South Africa

I choose the way of mercy! - 7 June 2024

By Ewald Schmidt

Bible text(s)

7Happy are those who are merciful to others;

God will be merciful to them!

Matthew 5:7GNBOpen in Bible reader

A very old saying is: what you sow shall you reap. It is one of the most basic principles of existence on the planet. Genesis 3 reveals how the world got derailed. Selfishness, hatred and violence have become the way of the world. People hurt each other with cruel words, inconsiderate behaviour, and in extreme cases, with criminal intent.

There are so many people bearing scars inflicted by other people’s behaviour somewhere along their life’s journey. Each one of us carries memories of the pain someone else caused us. A natural response is to want vengeance – we quite like the principle of an eye for an eye. If you have hurt me, you must suffer too. And that is why the world is the way it is today.

We are disciples of Jesus Christ, who through his Word are in the process of being moulded as citizens of the kingdom of God, called to make the world a better place. And there are so many people hurting around us. We are in this world to help with the healing and restoration of the world as we have already received, and know, the mercy of Christ in our own lives.

And then we are called to share that mercy with our fellow man. Mercy is looking at other human beings through the eyes of Christ, and then being his hands reaching out, helping where we can. We are called to be channels of God’s goodness to our fellow man. It is not an easy task; it requires self-sacrifice in the service of others.

It requires us to be quick to forgive the trespasses of others against us, because we have been forgiven much. It asks of us to bear injustice for the sake of Christ, and not to seek vengeance when the world calls for it. We are called to be merciful, because Christ is merciful to us. The mercy of Christ makes life much more bearable in this world when we share it with others!

The promise that Jesus gives us, is that merciful people can also expect to receive mercy in their hour of need. In a healthy faith community, we share each other’s joy and burdens. (1 Corinthians 12:26) When things are going well in our lives, we are in a position to help others less fortunate than ourselves and be good stewards of God’s blessings. And when we are in a spot of trouble, other believers are able to take care of us. And thus the body of Christ builds itself up in love. We all need mercy. Be merciful!

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your mercy in my life. Thank you for saving me, and not letting me receive what I deserve. You have forgiven me and have made me into a new being. Help me to extend your mercy to my fellow man and, in doing so, make your love shine wherever I go. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.21.9
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