Jack’s mother ran into the bedroom when she heard him scream and found his two year old sister pulling his hair. She gently released the little girl’s grip and said to Jack, “She didn’t mean it. She doesn’t know that hurts.” Mom was barely out of the room when this time the little girl screamed. Rushing back in, she asked, “What happened?” Jack explained, “Now she knows.”
We can identify with that. Someone says something or does something that hurts and instead of bearing with one another in love, instead of responding with forgiveness, we want people to know how we’ve been hurt and we want to hurt back. We react with angry words back and resentful actions. Momentarily that might feel good, but it actually brings further hurt to ourselves. Proverbs 11:17 says, “The merciful man does himself good, but the cruel man does himself harm.” What a thought! You actually do yourself more harm by being unmerciful, you prevent that wound from healing, you let bitterness take root in your heart, which creates even more pain for you and for others.
The Father has a higher expectation for His children. In Matthew 5:7 the Lord gives this promise: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” When you are merciful to others, God gives even more mercy to you. May we be people who receive that mercy, live in that mercy, and give that mercy to others, experiencing the fullness and joy of God’s blessing.