My brother was once a sneaky pest.
When my sister and I were not home, our brother would ransack our room and steal our money, which gave us ample reason to hate him. The day he loosened the wheels on my sister’s bike, knowing she would wreck, was one of his worst pranks. My sister retaliated. She dragged her bike and wheel home, searched until she found him, and beat him until he screamed for mercy.
God does not beat us up every time we mess up. Most of the time, we do that part ourselves. At times, we just want to scream for mercy, but don’t. We carry the mess-ups in our heart, heavy baggage we can’t get past. We decide God could never love or forgive us when we do such bad stuff. But He does and can. However, some things we do have consequences.
Retaliation for what we consider slights against us can be costly. Sometimes, we need to make things right, apologize, clean up the mess, give back the money. Whatever the cost, we might have to pay.
Mercy, however begins with God. We know we messed up. We know our hatred or deep longings for some way to make someone else miserable. We know we need to change.
The change starts with Jesus. He offered mercy to those who crucified Him. They, however, had to accept His offer. Many did; many didn’t. His offer of forgiveness, love, and mercy still stands. But we have to accept. We have to want Jesus living in our hearts, filling us with gracious forgiveness and love. Then, we can offer it to others.
Rather than retaliating, think of some ways you can offer mercy to others.
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