The Bible tells us that we get new mercies from God every morning.
“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
How exciting is that? To know that no matter what you did or didn’t do yesterday, or how bad you messed things up, you get a fresh start every day. God will show us mercy; so while we do experience consequences of bad decisions, God still shows us great compassion and mercy. Things that we should lose, we don’t. Where we should have no favor, we get favor anyway. God gives us new mercies!
Then why are we so selective with showing mercy? God gives someone new mercies every morning yet every morning we keep that person in the jail of our unforgiveness. Are we better than God? Are equipped to make a better decision about that person than God? The answer to both of those questions is no! So, someone is making a poor judgment here and it is not God.
Jesus shared this awesome parable.
“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.” (Matthew 18:23-34).
From God’s perspective, if you have been shown mercy, you have the capacity to show mercy to others. And since we get new mercies every day, we know what mercy looks like. Forgiving someone does not imply you think what they did is acceptable. It does not mean you invite them to do it to you again. It does mean you are willing to show mercy because in this life you never know when you will need mercy for yourself. We are all human and make mistakes. We hurt people we love. We make bad decisions. We even fail at our responsibilities sometimes so we need mercy and I have found that the best way to get what you need is to give it.
If you need help, be helpful. If you need love, give love. If you need money, give money. If you need forgiveness, forgive others. So, this holiday season, give the gift of mercy and forgiveness. It blesses everyone around you including you! Putting people in a prison of unforgiveness places you in bondage and you must expend all this energy keeping them at arms-length and examining what they do and say. And well that’s just too much! You are losing your life and your joy. Break free and embrace mercy!
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