“Be merciful, just as your father also is merciful.” Luke 6:36
One day as the crowds followed Jesus, he went upon a mountain, sat down, and began to preach. The Sermon on the Mount, as it later became called, contained some of Jesus’ most famous teachings, and portions of it are referenced in each of the Gospels. Many people are familiar with pieces of the sermon, snippets here and there about the meek and mild and the peacemakers, but this sermon also contained hard truths and calls to action that may be difficult for us to follow.
Mercy is not a trait that comes naturally to man. In fact, mercy is the complete opposite of everything man wants and desires in his sinful and fallen state. Our fallen nature compels us to care only for ourselves, to seek to meet our own needs only, and to fight those who interfere with us meeting our needs. Mercy is not a quality that appeals to man in his basest nature.
God, on the other hand, is infinitely merciful. He provides for and protects those who love Him, and He forgives those who repent and ask for His forgiveness. Chance after chance is given to us by God, and He is loving and forgiving every time we fail. His love and mercy know no limits or bounds. Mercy of this sort is impossible for man to attempt to emulate or imitate.
The only type of person who could even begin to live like this is one who has been changed by God. His cleansing salvation changes one’s entire nature and being, making it more like His own. No longer does one seek to look out only for one’s self; after God redeems people, they seek to share His love with the world. Mercy, care, compassion, and love become the hallmarks and desires of the redeemed soul. Then, and only then, can one hope to be merciful just as Christ called us to be.
Allow God to cleanse you and change your nature. Allow Him to show His mercy to you so that you may show mercy to others.