Seven Characteristics of Mercy
By Rick Warren
“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)
Mercy is like a diamond; it is multifaceted. Today we’re going to look at seven facets of mercy. And I guarantee that learning how to be an agent of mercy will transform your relationships.
1. Mercy means being patient with people’s quirks.
The Bible says in James 3:17, “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” (NLT). The wiser you become, the more patient and merciful you become.
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).
3. Mercy means giving people a second chance.
When somebody hurts you, you 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. Why should you do that? Because that’s what God does with you: “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 need to be more interested in winning people to Christ than in winning an argument. Jude 1:23 says, “Show mercy to others, 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.
This is what I call premeditated mercy, because you intentionally build friendships with people who don’t have friends or who are not accepted at work or in society.
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.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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