Sunday, August 23, 2020


five minute friday writing prompt, offer mercy, compassion

It's been a bit since I've joined my friends in the Five Minute Friday community to write. Each week I've seen the word prompt, and had ideas, but life has a way of invading our small spaces and taking over our time. This week though, I could NOT pass up a chance to spend five minutes, or a little more reflecting on Mercy - a thing we all so desperately need.

Set a timer, and go:

The first thing to come to mind when I read the word Mercy are the lyrics to Matthew West's "Mercy is a Song." Now that it is stuck in your head too, I want to focus on what mercy means. The dictionary describes it as: compassion, charity, forgiveness, humanity, kindness, and generosity. These are all good synonyms, but mercy is more. 

Mercy is deeper, and can only originate from God.

Mercy is not receiving what we deserve. We deserve death. Each and every one of us deserves death. We have sinned, fallen short of following God. Whether by cursing the person who cut us off on the road last night or by committing a crime, we have all fallen short of Jesus' commandments to love God and love one another. 

Mercy is not going to hell when we deserve it.

Mercy is forgiveness and some grace. Grace is getting something good that we do not deserve. Can you see the difference? Mercy is not going to hell for our sins. Grace is having blessings poured out on us when we have done nothing good to earn them. The Scriptures tell us that the rains fall on the just and the unjust. (Matthew 5:45) That is a blessing, an expression of grace. 

If we have been given mercy (and grace), then why are we so hesitant to offer mercy to others? How can we choose to withhold mercy from the people around us? Our family, our neighbors, our co-workers? How about that guy you heard on tv that you did not agree with? These people, these human beings probably did not get up this morning thinking "I'm going to tick people off today, let me go cause strife." And yet, it might have happened anyway. You see, we need to offer mercy for the big things AND the small things. Because God is merciful to us. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Show mercy, extend mercy, offer mercy, be merciful. You are still alive and able to read this post because God has been merciful to you. 

Go and do likewise: offer mercy. Then spread grace.

If you want to hear joy, grace, freedom, and mercy, here is Matthew West's song.

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