Some people read the Bible as an instruction manual, but I’ve always read it as a love letter. I’m convinced that this letter from God to His people is the most beautiful love story ever written. I’ve been studying Matthew 5 and I’m enchanted by the concept of mercy. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” In other words, blessed are those who passionately long for Jesus Christ, for He will satisfy their souls.
I used to picture mercy as a form of justice but now I see it as a form of compassion. Mercy is feeling so compassionate for someone else that you want to feel what they feel. It’s wanting to put yourself in the middle of someone’s chaos to help them get out. Jesus is the ultimate expression of mercy. He felt so much compassion towards us that He came to Earth and put Himself in the middle of our chaos.
As Christians, we should show great mercy to others because we already know great mercy. Cultivating a merciful spirit begins with forgiveness. As C.S. Lewis put it, “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” When we forgive others, we set ourselves free. Free to show kindness and compassion. Free to fully feel the forgiveness that we’ve been granted.
I’m not an expert on relationships or religion. If you spent time with me, you’d know that I say and do many things out of selfishness… But, I’m working on it. As I work on it, I realize that I don’t need to do anything spectacular with my life. I don’t need wealth or fame. I don’t need everyone to approve of me. I don’t need to walk an easy road. I just need a forgiving spirit and a compassionate heart. I need to keep planting seeds of faith in my life so that I’ll have flowers to give other people.
I keep trying to figure out where I’m going, but maybe I’ve missed the point. It’s not about figuring out the direction of my life… It’s about recognizing when other people are lost, and having the courage to walk beside them. I think that’s how God’s love story continues beyond the pages of the Bible. His story continues everyday. He writes it through you and He writes it through me.