More Mercy, More Like Jesus
“Love is . . . never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5, TLB)
One of the best things you can do for your family is to show them mercy. Mercy is love in action. So when you overlook irritations and choose to be kind to your family—even when they don’t deserve it—you’re being merciful.
Another important way you can show mercy in your home is to let go of past hurts.
Do you keep a mental record every time someone in your family does something wrong?
Are you quick to remind someone of how they have hurt you? The Bible says that real love doesn’t store up hurts and offenses to be used later for revenge. When you hold on to a hurt like that, you are not being loving.
The Bible says, “Love is . . . never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5 TLB).
Notice how “rude” and “does not hold grudges” are in the same verse. That’s the reason people are rude: They’re reacting to a past hurt they’ve been holding on to and then taking it out on others. And when they react to a past hurt, they can’t relate to the present.
Leviticus 19:18 says, “Do not take revenge on others or continue to hate them, but love your neighbors as you love yourself” (GNT).
Are past grudges holding you hostage today? Don’t hold grudges over your spouse’s or children’s heads. And don’t tell other people about your grudges, either. That’s gossip! Instead, just let it go.
Sometimes it’s hardest to show mercy to the people who are closest to you. But when you can let it go and be merciful, you are learning to be more like Jesus.
Talk It Over
What grudge have you been nursing? Why? How can you be intentional about letting it go?
There are many steps you can take to find healing from past pain—including seeking biblical counseling and mentoring, praying through Scripture, and obeying the Holy Spirit. What is one step you can take today, however big or small, toward healing?
Why do you think it’s sometimes more difficult to show mercy to your family than anyone else?
How to Make Peace with God
God wants you to make peace with others, but first he wants you to make peace with him. This means that you accept his gift of grace and believe that Jesus paid for all your sins.
The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8, “For it is by God's grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God's gift, so that no one can boast about it” (GNT).
If you’re ready to accept that promise and make peace with God, then pray:
“Dear God, you have promised that if I believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection as the Son of God and his sacrifice for me, then everything I’ve ever done wrong will be forgiven, and you will accept me into your family.
“I confess my sin, and I ask you to forgive me. Jesus, I believe that you are my Savior. I receive you into my life as my Lord. Today I’m turning over every part of my life to you, and I commit to serving you for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at Rick@PastorRick.com and let me know about it. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.
How to Make Peace with Others
If you’ve been easily irritated, demanding, unkind, or unforgiving toward others lately, and you want a fresh start, then you can say this to God today:
“Lord, please forgive me for withholding mercy from the people in my life, especially my family. You have given me the best example of how to show grace to others, and I want to be obedient to you in this.
“Please help me to let go of my grudges and make peace with my family. I want to show them your love by responding with kindness and patience instead of resentment or anger. I know I need your help to be able to do this. Thank you that you are ready and willing to give it! In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
This devotional © 2022 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.