There are some things I really love about following Jesus. Close to the top of the list is the fact that our God is with us and has walked among us. He is not blind to our lives and what we experience, he does not turn a deaf ear to our cries. Because of this perspective, he offers us some wonderful things. Among them are Grace and Mercy.
Grace is getting what we don't deserve. It is like doing everything to not deserve kindness but getting it anyway. It is the kindness shown when we have been a complete tool. (for those of you who are married, you may experience this from your spouse daily, like me.) It is the love extended when we are unlovely. Grace says NOTHING about the receiver but everything about the giver. The one who extends their hand reveals what they are like.
Mercy is NOT getting what you deserve. It is the withholding of a just punishment. I saw this in my child as I was going to discipline them after they had repeatedly done what I asked them not to do. My little one looked at me and said "Show me mercy dad". I asked 'What is mercy?' to which they replied 'Not getting what you deserve.' I quickly said 'Yes!' and held them tightly. It brings me joy to show mercy, I know my child was happy to receive it.
As God has been gracious and merciful to us, so in turn we are to be gracious and merciful to those around us. They are two sides of the same coin. Keeping it for ourselves says something about us. Giving it away says something about us as well. It also says something about the one we follow.
When have you received Grace or Mercy?
When have you given it away?