“The wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy.”
James 3:17 (NLT)
Would you like to see your relationships transformed? Then become an agent of mercy.
Here are seven characteristics of mercy that God wants you to learn and apply in your life:
1. Mercy means being patient with people’s quirks.
How do you become more patient with your kids, spouse, coworkers, or friends? You ask God for his wisdom. The Bible says in James 3:17, “The wisdom from above is . . . peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy” (NLT).
2. Mercy means helping anyone around you who is hurting.
You cannot love your neighbor as yourself without being merciful. Proverbs 3:27 says, “Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it” (GNT)—and “do it cheerfully” (Romans 12:8 NIV).
3. Mercy means giving people a second chance.
When somebody hurts us, we normally want to get even or write that person off. But the Bible says, “Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others . . . Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ” (Ephesians 4:31-32 CEV).
4. Mercy means doing good to those who hurt you.
Mercy is giving people what they need, not what they deserve, because that’s what God does with us: “Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back . . . Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:35-36 NIV).
5. Mercy means being kind to those who offend you.
You’ve got to be more interested in winning people to Christ than in winning the argument. Jude 1:22-23 says, “Show mercy to those who have doubts . . . even though you are afraid that you might be stained by their sinful lives” (GW).
6. Mercy means building bridges of love to the unpopular.
When the Pharisees questioned why Jesus ate with tax collectors and other unpopular people, Jesus said, “‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners” (Matthew 9:13 NLT).
7. Mercy means valuing relationships over rules.
Romans 13:10 says, “Love fulfills the requirements of God’s law” (NLT). If you want to show mercy, put people before policies. Put their needs before procedures. Put relationships before regulations. Choose love over law.
Showing mercy doesn’t always come naturally. And so, in tomorrow’s devotional, we’ll discuss specific ways you can demonstrate mercy in your life.
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