Greedy Gratitude 30 Day Devotional
Day 9 - Mercy
"Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there. Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.”
Psalms 51:1-12 NLT
Not getting what we deserve. This, my friend, is mercy. We’ve all felt it before, this word spelled m-e-r-c-y. Defined, it simply means…. "compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.” Who doesn’t need mercy? When have you needed it the most? As a child, I used to love to go to the hardware store with my dad to pick up odds and ends for the house. One particular Saturdaymorning my focus was clouded by a pack of Doublemint Gum up by the register where my dad was purchasing a few things. I asked him for the gum and, of course, he said a firm, “no.” I mean, he was looking out for my 15 cavities that we had just found out about at the dentist. My mind was telling myself to follow the direction of my father, but my heart could taste the delicious gum bouncing around in my mouth. My hot and sweaty fingers reached for the gum and before I knew it, I could feel its 5 sticks stuck in my front pocket. Somehow I was starting to believe that I had gotten away with it. That was until I opened my pack of gum in the car. My dad questioned me like a KGB agent. After all, he was a full red blooded Russian born in the Ukraine. Without hesitation I lied and then out of sheer guilt…told the truth. Mercy! My heart cried out. And, mercy is what I got. Dad just asked me to follow him and we marched back into the store. He asked me to tell the clerk that I had taken the Wrigley pack and then apologize. After that, we didn’t really talk about it anymore. It was over. Instead, he kept loving me day in and day out without making me pay for the mistake I had made.
That is mercy. Not getting what I deserved. That is Jesus. He paid the price so we don’t have to suffer the consequences of our sin. When we ask him to come into our lives and forgive the sinful decisions we make…He does just that... Mercy. Shouldn’t we? Like David, let’s cry out to God and ask our Father to have mercy on us and then pass it along.
Extreme, extravagant mercy is not getting back at people- it's offering forgiveness when it would be easier to hold a grudge, letting go of what someone put us through, pardoning the “bully” in our lives. We all need to let people hear these words…. "I’m sorry" ….with ease.
Today, receive MERCY and offer MERCY. Now that is extravagant. Just like Jesus. It’s what he would do.
ACTION STEP: Think of someone in your family, your past, a co-worker or past friend that really hurt you somehow. Reach out to them via a text, Facebook or by sending a card. Be kind, show mercy. Even if you just ask them how they are doing, connect with them somehow and begin to let go of what was. Even if they don’t connect back or return with mercy, don’t let it pierce your heart. The act of reaching out and not giving them what they deserve is enough.