I read some disturbing information recently. The Barna Group, a Christian research firm, found that we as Christians are struggling with giving and receiving mercy. They found that 25% of Christians have someone in their life that they say they cannot and will not forgive. Also, they found that many of us are grappling with whether certain people deserve compassion or forgiveness. The study found that we are no different in embodying merciful attitudes and actions than non-Christians. If you don’t know, mercy and forgiveness are central to our faith.
Mercy is simply having compassion and showing kindness to someone in need. When Jesus looked at the crowds, He had compassion on them. When someone needed Jesus’ help, they would cry out, “Jesus, have mercy on me!” As you and I have received God’s mercy and forgiveness, we are to give it. They should be a part of the DNA of our new life in Christ. It’s our love that we should be known for, but right now, there is no discernible difference between us and the world. We need to individually ask God to let His mercy, kindness and forgiveness to flow through us. We carry His name. Let’s also carry His attributes.
Here are some Bible verses on how we are to be merciful.
1. Show mercy and compassion for others, just as your heavenly Father overflows with mercy and compassion for all.
Luke 6:36 TPT
2. For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; but [to the one who has shown mercy] mercy triumphs [victoriously] over judgment.
JAMES 2:13 AMP
3. How satisfied you are when you demonstrate tender mercy! For tender mercy will be demonstrated to you.
Matthew 5:7 TPT
4. Mercy to the needy is a loan to GOD, and GOD pays back those loans in full.
Proverbs 19:17 MSG
5. Show mercy toward those who have doubts; save others by snatching them out of the fire; and to others show mercy mixed with fear, but hate their very clothes, stained by their sinful lusts.
Jude 1:22-23 GNT
If you’d like to read more about Barca’s study on mercy, click here.