Friday, January 7, 2011

Show Mercy, Get Mercy

Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.  -- Hebrews 4:16

Mercy is not a word we hear too often in our society.  There is much more focus and drive put on getting our way, gaining our place, having our rights, and insuring that no one takes advantage of us.  We think of mercy as being like soft on crime, and yet when we are stressed and having too many things go wrong we might even call out under our breath, or out loud, "Have mercy on me."  Mercy is another word for compassion.  To get mercy, we have to be willing to give it to others.

We approach the throne of grace by being boldly merciful to others and giving slack and working at putting ourselves in the shoes of someone else.  That rude or grumpy person who cuts in front of us in traffic or in line at the grocery store could well just be having a huge number of pressures -- perhaps similar to, or worse than, the ones we are facing ourselves.  We have no way of knowing who is experiencing tremendous grief, loss, financial stress, bad health news, a job loss, etc.  While we all tend to hide our troubles and without thinking reply "Fine," when asked how we are, the truth of life is that everyone we meet has some kind of need. 

We live in a society that has gotten busier, more rude and pushy, and where few people notice the others around them.  My mom preached the Golden Rule at me a great deal -- doing unto others as I would have them do unto me.  There is also the saying, "What goes around comes around."  If you want or need mercy and grace for your situation, you have to be willing to give mercy and grace to the other people you meet.   Be bold enough to smile and even speak a simple "Good Morning."  Politeness, civility, forgiveness, and generosity given will be returned to us.  Showing consideration to others who, in more ways that we can probably guess, are in as much need for help as we are puts us in the position of receiving the same considerations in return.  These measures of thoughtfulness are how God is thoughtful toward us every minute of every day.  These are the ways we approach the throne of grace boldly.

Lord, we come before You boldly offering ourselves as examples of your love, mercy, and help in times of need.  Consecrate our offering and claim us as Your own.  Raise out of our needs the understanding and compassion that comes only from You such that we realize the help You share with us hourly.  Amen. 

No comments:

Post a Comment