** Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. ** Romans 12:8
We can’t let this Holiday Season pass without talking just a little about the Lord’s mercy. The definition of mercy is….’that benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves’..(Webster’s 1828)
That’s a lot of adjectives. Benevolence…the disposition to do good; good will; (very Christmasy) kindness; charitableness; the love of mankind, accompanied with a desire to promote their happiness…(Webster 1828)
Okay, we have to stop there. Did we all know all of that is part of mercy? Benevolence is a forerunner to mercy. Benevolence is on purpose. It should be a part of our being. We should want to do good. It is the disposition to do good. Do we remember hearing someone say…that child has a good disposition? Does anyone say something like that about us? Sue has the disposition to be merciful. Oh, I WISH someone said that about me!!
Who do we know that we could say that about? I can say that about several people from my early years of being saved. People that kindly and lovingly put up with the very untransformed version of me. I imagine that we all can.
The obvious expert at benevolence is, of course, the Lord. Webster’s 1828 continues explaining mercy by saying…’The benevolence of God is one of his moral attributes; that attribute which delights in the happiness of intelligent beings. God is love 1 John 4’…..
Mercy is not just a part of the Lord. He actually delights in it. He delights in the happiness of others. Let’s say that again. He DELIGHTS in the HAPPINESS of others. He is benevolent to the core.
The Lord isn’t merciful like we can be sometimes. He is happy about it. He doesn’t show mercy and then talk about us behind our back. He isn’t merciful and then hopes for a day when we get what we deserve. He doesn’t treat us with mercy and then find a way to run in the other direction the next time He sees us.
No, mercy is who the Lord is. He is merciful, happily, with great delight, thrilled to be kind to us when we do not deserve it. Thrilled to show us the depth of His perfect, merciful love.
I can’t even write anymore about this, I am so overwhelmed by it’s impact on me.
I don’t know about you, but I am not like the Lord. Not even a little bit.