How to be Merciful:
The parable of the unmerciful servant (Matthew 18:21-35) is very apt; Peter’s reference to seven times in verse 21 is a familiar story to Cain’s in Gen. 4:15. And Jesus’ reply to Peter is similar to Lamech’s claim in Gen. 4:24. Jesus did not condone Lamech’s claim in arrogance but agreed that what Lamech said for Mercy extends to all sinners. We do not deserve God’s Mercy, but He gives us Mercy. Significantly few places in Scripture that Jesus refers to anyone as “wicked”; only where the person failed to show Mercy. When you behave like that “unmerciful servant,”; you have misunderstood the Lord’s Grace and Mercy. Unforgiveness and lack of Mercy deprive you of God’s Joy, Favour, and Grace.
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Forgiveness in this light means we never seek recourse to compensation, whether in the form of an apology or any other form of retribution. Mercy in biblical Greek (NT) is less meaning Mercy, pity, Compassion (Original Word: ?ëåïò, ïõò, ôü). In biblical Hebrew (OT), Mercy is a concept integral to understanding God’s dealings with humankind. In English translations of the Bible, it comes to expression in phrases such as “to be merciful,” “to have mercy on,” or “to show mercy toward.” The related term, “merciful,” describes a quality of God and one that God requires of his people.
The noun denotes compassion and Love, not just feelings or emotions, as expressed in tangible ways. Several Hebrew and Greek terms lie behind the English term “mercy.” The chief Hebrew term is hesed [d,s,j], God’s covenant “loving-kindness.” Jesus said in Matt. 9:13 “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners”. Anyone that fails to show Mercy will only be locked in his emotional prison. We must give away compassion and forgiveness as God has given to us. Before I mention what Mercy Is, there is a need to know what Mercy is Not.
What Mercy Is Not!
- Mercy is not denying or ignoring wrongdoing.
- Mercy is not condoning or enabling sin.
- Mercy is not a removal of consequences.
- Mercy is not a response to an apology.
- Mercy does not depend on the perpetrator or offender seeking or asking for forgiveness.
- Mercy is not forgetting a one-time thing but a process.
- Mercy is not ceasing to feel the pain.
- Mercy does not equal trust.
- Mercy is not reconciliation
- Mercy is not primarily for the other person, but you
What Mercy Is!
- Mercy understands the immense Mercy that God has shown you, thus pouring that out on others.
- Mercy is giving the kindness of God to others as it has been given to you.
- Mercy is canceling a debt owed to you.
- Mercy is keeping no records of wrong (especially in marriages)
- Mercy is forsaking the revenge, removing it from your hands, and putting it in God’s hands.
- Mercy is the sweetest revenge
- Mercy is removing the control the offender or perpetrator has on you.
- Mercy is leaving ultimate justice to God.
- Mercy is voting for wellness: spiritually, physically, and psychologically.
- Mercy is remaining in God’s blessing. God blesses the Merciful.
How you know you have un-forgiveness in your heart:
- If you tie your happiness to another’s happiness;
- If you have an anger problem, especially towards an offender;
- When you crave justice rather than Grace;
- When you hear bad news about the offender, and you feel satisfied;
- If you feel irritation on seeing the offender;
- If you get angry quickly;
- If you have bitterness;
- If you feel happy passing on negative information about the offender;
- If you are unable to sleep well; and
- If you have pains or feel sick, which causes cannot be easily diagnosed.