Showing Mercy

During my study last week, I was struck several times by the practical mercy and grace that Jesus often showed people while he was here on earth. I was also struck by the amount of times He showed this physical mercy to someone and it did not end in salvation. For example, the passage in Luke 17 where Jesus shows mercy to 10 lepers, cleansing them of the disease. However, only one of them, after realizing that he was healed, came back to glorify God.

These stories made me consider how I show mercy to those around me. I understand that as a Christian I am to be pursuing the process of sanctification – the process of being made holy. I also understand that my only example of truly holy living is in Jesus and His time here on earth. Therefore, it follows that if I see Jesus doing something in the Bible or treating people a specific way, that I show be striving to do the same as well.

So…the point: Too often I believe that I only show mercy and kindness to people whom I believe will reciprocate. I do not at all have the gift of mercy and although I do try to exercise it anyway, I find that it is usually only towards fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, or in a situation when I believe doing so will open up opportunities for witnessing. Now, obviously, it is good to show mercy to fellow believers and it is good to hope for opportunities to share my faith. However, this is not enough.

Jesus did not simply show mercy – He was mercy! If I am going to truly imitate Christ’s example then I am going to show mercy and grace towards those around me all the time. This thought was a breakthrough for me over the weekend, especially since this is an area in my life that currently needs a lot of growth!

Let us all examine how our lives differ from the life of our Example.

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