Read Matthew 18:21-35.
"Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?" NIV
This is such a difficult lesson to keep in the forefront of my thinking. When someone has sinned against me, unfortunately, the last thing I think of first is that I should show mercy. My first inclination is to be angry, hurt, lash back. And I'm certainly not considering the mercy God showed me at that moment. Again, this is worse with those closest to me. If I don't know someone and they sin against me, I tend to have a lot more mercy and grace.
So how do I keep from lashing out and start showing the same mercy to others that God showed to me? I believe it comes from spending time with Him. I thought I'd had almost daily devotion times for the last 13 years. But after I started this blog in April, I realized how many days I would miss. The blog has become a sort of accountability for me to be consistent in my times with the Lord. Now, if for whatever reason I miss a day or two, I feel it deep within me. I yearn to get back to Him. Part of this is because I am more acutely aware of my sinfulness and dependence on God's presence and instruction in my life. The longer I spend with Him, the more glaring my faults. You can't sit at the feet of perfection day after day and not start seeing your flaws stand out in stark contrast. Therefore, I do believe that in the last seven months, I have grown in grace and mercy. Still a long way to go -- but making progress. Even an inch worm makes progress over time.
- I always come back to Joseph as such an example of grace and mercy. Have you noticed He's my favorite OT mentor. Can't wait to meet him someday. What were some ways that Joseph exemplified grace and mercy?
- Do you feel you have to have justice in every situation? Why is that? Maybe one act of grace is letting some hurts just roll off your back.
- Look up Scriptures on "grace" and "mercy." What is the Lord saying to you about these two virtues? What active steps is He leading you to take?