Mercy

Micah 6:1–8 ‘To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’ (v8b)

Apoliceman stops your car when you are travelling 40mph in a 30mph zone. Justice is being given a speeding ticket, mercy is just being given a warning, and grace is the policeman giving you his theatre tickets…!

We all want grace and, at the very least mercy and, though justice may be unpleasant, that too can be a help to us.

Micah says God wants us to ‘love mercy’: to love it when people don’t get what they do deserve. How do we feel about that? Maybe it depends how personal it is.

When someone has harmed you? When someone has harmed someone you care about? When someone has done something outrageous?

We have to admit that loving mercy doesn’t come easily. But our capacity for mercy will come from our realisation of God’s mercy towards us.

As Paul wrote to Titus: ‘He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy’ (Titus 3:5a).

Jesus’ half-brother Jude urged his readers to ‘show mercy, mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh’ (v23), implying that there may be reason for justice, but they need to be merciful to wayward believers.

Loving mercy implies that we have joy when God treats people mercifully, because we realise that they, as we, need God’s goodness and kindness.

In a world of unspeakable evil, we delight when someone who could be part of the problem is shown mercy by God and becomes part of the solution. We can rejoice because that is exactly what has happened to us.


prayer-to-make-icon

A Prayer To Make:
Thank You, Lord, for Your mercy to me and that You treat me with the most wonderful grace. Amen.

An Action To Take:
Is there someone whom you might not want to see mercy? How might that change?

Scripture To Consider:
Hos. 6:1–11; 2 Sam. 9:1–13; Matt. 18:21–35; Rom. 9:13–32

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.