Seven Ways to Be Merciful

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You can go overboard on mercy — just look at what Jesus did on the cross. So, how can you have the courage to be merciful?

“God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7 NLT, second edition)

Is there a tension between mercy and personal responsibility? Yes, there is. But I have personally decided that if I’m going to err, I’m going to err on the side of being too gracious, too merciful, and too forgiving. You can go overboard on mercy — just look at what Jesus did on the cross.

So, how will you be merciful?

Be patient with people’s quirks. Who is that person in your life who has irritating quirks? How can you practice patience with that person this week?

Help anyone around you who is hurting. Who around you is obviously hurting that you can help this week? If you can’t think of anybody, then you’re not paying attention. Look closer!

Give people a second chance. Who do you need to give a second chance to? How can you show that person mercy and compassion this week?

Do good to those who hurt you. Maybe you’re suffering from an old wound that you have not been able to let go of. You need to forgive and then turn it around for good. Who is that person in your life? Will you make a phone call or a visit this week?

Be kind to those who offend you. Who offends you? Maybe it’s a politician or a comedian that you can pray for. Maybe it’s a Facebook friend who has different views and says some pretty offensive things. How can you be intentional about showing kindness to that person this week?

Build bridges of love to the unpopular. Who is the first person who comes to mind when you think of an outcast? Who spends their lunch breaks eating alone or doesn’t seem to have any friends at soccer games? What specific thing will you do this week to bridge the gap between you and that person with love?

Value relationships over rules. Who is an unbeliever you could invite over for dinner in the next few weeks? Will you then step up and invite that person to church? This is your ministry of mercy.

Pray this prayer today:

“Heavenly Father, your Word convicts me. I want your blessing in my life, and I want to be a merciful person. As I look at these seven things, I think of shortcomings and weaknesses in my own life. I pray that rather than just hearing the Word, I would do something about it. Give me the courage to be merciful. Give me the strength this week to step out in faith and do radical, premeditated acts of mercy that point others to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

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