Unlimited: Showing Mercy Cheerfully
Jul 21, 2023 235
if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully (Romans 12:8d.)
Mercy is when someone doesn’t receive what they deserve. The context of mercy is typically when someone has wronged you, and they don’t deserve your kindness or attention; indeed they deserve to be punished.
It is natural for someone who tries to do the right thing to grit their teeth and grudgingly continue speaking and dealing with this person. But instead, Paul is talking about showing mercy cheerfully to the one who has wronged you. This is the genuine outworking of a transformed heart that knows what it means to love your enemy.
Paul is talking about showing mercy cheerfully to the one who has wronged you.
In Matthew 6, we can see that the Pharisees loved to display their acts of mercy, and to piously announce how much their mercy had cost them. In this way they tried to show others how righteous they were because of what they were giving up for others (Matt. 6:2–4.)
Together with giving to the poor, the Pharisees would also fast. That’s why the words of Jesus in Matt. 6:16 probably apply not just to the Pharisees’ fasting, but also to how they performed their acts of mercy. He said,
…don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them… I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get.
Can you think of a time when you were shown mercy by another person? If you were shown mercy, how did it change your life? If you haven’t been shown mercy, how has that impacted you?