Theres not a lot of mercy in the marketplace. Produce or youre out. Mess up a couple of times and youre walking. A stock broker friend of mime once told me that in his field, if you stumbled on a rung on your way up the ladder of success there would be a pile of guys instantly ready to climb over your back en-route to the top. Christs Twelve mirrored the marketplaces lack of mercy when they got irked at the ever needy, hungry crowds by promptly advising Jesus to send them off to solve their own food problem. Enough was enough. (Mt. 14:13-21) Not Jesus. Out of His heart of mercy He fed them, and then sent them on their way. (Lk. 18:9-14)
Gods mercy has to do with His goodness and love. If the grace of God contemplates man as guilty before God, and therefore in need of forgiveness, the mercy of God contemplates him as one who is bearing the consequences of sin of one who is in a pitiable position, who therefore needs Divine helpMercy is thegoodness or love of God shown to those who are in misery or distress (Louis Berkhof). Gods mercy applied means we dont get what we deserve.
Gods mercy is un-bounding toward those who sincerely fear Him and seek to obey Him: All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear Him[God keeps] covenant and mercy for them that love Him and observe His commandments (Psa. 25:10; 103:13; Neh. 1:5 KJV).
God also extends His mercy to those who turn their back on their previous life of sin, He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercyThe Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished (Num. 14:18; Prov. 28:13). (See Gal. 6:7, 8)
Gods mercy endures forever, is great, abounding, and infinitely rich. (See Psa. 136:1; I Kin. 3:6; I Pet. 1:3; Psa. 86:5; Eph. 2:4)
So, what is the application?
We are to extend to others the same mercy He has granted us: Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful (Lk. 6:36). And what does that look like? We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him upAccept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable mattersLove your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back (Rom. 15:1,2; 14:1; Lk. 6:35, 37). (See Matt. 18:21-35)
So how about slowing down a bit today and taking a look around you. My guess is that there is someone in your orbit who isnt doing so well. Take a moment and reach out, as would Jesus. Extend them a touch of mercy; a touch of compassion, rather than harboring an attitude of judgment or cold indifference. Imagine, you might just save a life. Jesus reminds us, I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me (Matt. 25:40).