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Mercy is Not Self-Generated

If we’re going to walk in mercy, first, we absolutely must have a proper understanding of our own spiritual bankruptcy (again, it’s thinking, “In and of myself, I have nothing”), and we must realize how merciful God has been to us as individuals. This kind of thinking starts with understanding the first four beatitudes. We’re bankrupt and poor in spirit, yet God has given us the kingdom. We’re mourning over our sin, yet He comes to us with great comfort. We’re being humbled by God’s goodness, and He promises we’ll receive the earth. We are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, and then He comes and fills us.

These four beatitudes lead us to the place where we realize the incredible truth of the fifth one. We say, “God has been merciful to me! This is what God did! He’s looked upon me with pity and compassion, and then He took action to get me in a better situation. God has been merciful to me!”

Mercy comes with this God encounter. The only way we can be able to give mercy to others is by first experiencing it with God, and we experience it by realizing how good He’s been and how bankrupt we are. That’s how it works. We can’t try to conjure mercy up on our own and give something from our own self-generated resources; there’s too much room for pride in that. It’s first receiving something extraordinary as a beggar, a poor person, and then giving, out of that vast resource we’ve received, to other beggarly poor people. It’s the motion of mercy. Mercy doesn’t stop; it’s moving. God rains mercy down on us from His throne and it moves into our hearts. We experience it, then it moves out of our lives to touch other people who need it. That testimony then ascends back to Heaven. Fresh mercy rains down again . . . and it’s just a continual motion of mercy.

We must ask ourselves, “Am I plugged up?” Do we like to receive mercy from God, but not like to give mercy to others? How quickly do our hearts beat to help the miserable and afflicted? Are our hearts merely angry at the sinful unrighteousness of the world, or do they break for people who are as lost as a ball in high weeds, doing every foul thing? Mercy changes us. When we realize what God’s done for us, we can’t help but give it away, because we want other people to experience it, too.

I’d like to hear from you. Share a time when you gave mercy to someone. We’re they undeserving, but you gave it anyway?  When have you seen mercy in your life? How can we not give mercy when God has given us so much?

2 responses to “Mercy is Not Self-Generated”

  1. Todd O says:

    Good wordn thanks!
    “I desire Mercy, not sacrifice”… but why is our default usually the opposite? I usually don’t stop to think before acting…

    A great example of mercy from my first job. I was 20, fresh out of school, working as a Computer Operations Supervisor at a large IT company. We hosted payroll and other vital IT functions for clients all over the country. One morning I was checking the online status of a client – we had to do this by flipping switches up and down in a pattern specific to that company (this was the old days of punch cards and giant tape drives). .. when I accidentally hit the POWER on/off switch and shut the whole mainframe down! The (hands on) CIO of the company happened to be standing 10 ft behind me when I did this. My heart was in my mouth and I was drenched in sweat! The phone started ringing off the hook with from all the companies whose access to their systems was now dead (and in those days would take quite a bit of time to restore). Instead of yelling or even firing me on the spot, the President patted me on the back and said “I do that all the time”, started the process of rebooting the machine, and even started taking the client phone calls himself! He fixed things and took the heat for my mistake. I wasn’t a believer at the time, and I’m not sure if he was or not, but almost 25 years later and I remember that act of mercy very clearly!

    • Steve Berger says:

      Todd, thank you for sharing. Remembering is important for us, 2 Peter 1:12-15..