Sometimes when we are merciful toward others, we do it out of religious pride. Other times, we do it begrudgingly simply because it’s the “Christian thing to do.” But Jesus tells us that the foundation for our being merciful should be an overflow of love for how God has treated us:
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful (Luke 6:35-36).
God is kind to the ungrateful and evil in that he sent his Son to die for us while we were still enemies (see Rom. 5:8-10). He was merciful while we were stomping all over his glory. So Jesus says, “the Father has been kind to you evil people, so you should go and be the same to others who are evil.”
We need to ask ourselves, “When am I not merciful?” I find that most often, I am not merciful in the mundane things of life. Don’t you agree? We yell at people in traffic. We think other people shouldn’t be in line at Wal-Mart when we are. We get angry at others because they don’t “respect” us. We punish others emotionally and socially because of some sin they have done against us. We give people the cold shoulder who didn’t accomplish the “wonderful plan” we have for their life (one that really was an avenue for our own betterment).
We must strive to be merciful. Why? Because Jesus said, “The measure you use it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38). If Christ has saved you, you are an evil and ungrateful child of the Most High God. He has given you so much mercy. Don’t keep it all to yourself.