SHOW MERCY AND OBTAIN MERCY
One of the greatest obstacles that will prevent many acclaimed Christians from inheriting the heavenly kingdom is lack of mercy. Many of us are very religious but rarely forgive our offenders. We have read the Scriptures from the beginning to the last letter in the last chapter, and many can recite whole chapters and verses of the Bible but are heavily burdened with unforgiving hearts.
Many have concluded that it is difficult, very difficult, to forgive seemingly unbearable and unpardonable offences, so they move on with life with heavy hearts and hatred towards their transgressors. Their offenders span from spouses to siblings, parents to children, friends, neighbours, governments, church ministers, and the list goes on…
To carry a grudge is like being stung to death by one bee.
– William H. Walton
Remember, Christ’s closest friends betrayed and denied Him. Those He came to redeem shouted that He deserved death and crucified Him. This is the reality of life. Those who are close to you will someday hurt you lightly or bitterly; the unknown will ridicule you and some will love you dearly, more than the friends you knew from childhood.
Beloved sister and brother, Christianity is a life of love and not hate. Christ showed mercy to His executioners, leaving us an example, that we should follow in His steps. It is difficult to let that bitterness fade away. It is very difficult. God knows how troubled and wounded you are as a result of that man or woman’s hateful act. But Christ our Lord and Master is telling you to cast that burden on Him and He will grant you rest – freedom from the pain, bitterness, anger and revenge caged in your heart.
Christ is also reminding you of His love towards you on the cross of Calvary: “I forgave you all your sins against Me and I nailed it to the cross at Calvary. You must also do the same to those who wrong you deeply or lightly” (See Matthew 18:21-35). And in one of her tweets, Victoria Osteen said, “Love isn’t about feelings and emotions. It’s about the choice to treat people the way God tells us to in His Word.”
…if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. (See Matthew 6:15).
We all sin (see Romans 3:23). Every day we err against God. We know that nothing unclean will enter the kingdom of God. To keep clean and fit for the kingdom of God, we must turn to God for mercy, to be robed to attend the wedding feast of the Lamb. But there is a condition to obtain God’s mercy as Christ stated in Matthew 6:15: show mercy to others and obtain mercy. Thus, Lewis B. Smedes said, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
Christ Jesus, You shouldered our sin, nailed it to the cross and obtained for us redemption. Fill me with the grace to show mercy to those who hurt me and heal my heart of all pains, wounds and vengeful thoughts. Amen.