Another mark if I’m a merciful person is I’ll forgive those who have fallen.
When people make mistakes, do you rub it in? Or do you rub it out? When people let you down, do you hold it over their head for the rest of their life and never let them off the hook? That’s not mercy.
There was this man whose wife did a very foolish thing in the first six months of their marriage – a dumb decision. She repented of it and asked forgiveness but he never forgave her. He held it over her head, he kept reminding her of it, he used it to justify his own behavior, he abused her for 30 years verbally with this thing she had done. One day she just left him.
Colossians 3.13 (TLB), “Be gentle and ready to forgive, never hold grudges. Remember the LORD forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
It’s interesting about forgiveness that when you’re called to receive it, it feels so right; when you’re called to give it, it feels so wrong. I don’t want to forgive people, I want justice.
Like the lady who had her picture taken at a photographer’s. She brought it back and said, “It doesn’t do me justice!” He said, “You don’t need justice, you need mercy!”
If I’m patient, I will be forgiving to the fallen. It’s a lot easier to criticize than it is to sympathize. It’s a lot easier to point a finger than it is to lend a helping hand.
Just a thought from the front porch…