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.

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12 thoughts on “Mercy

  1. “Mercy is feeling so compassionate for someone else that you want to feel what they feel.” This quote truly rang true for me. As we go through our struggling times I think it helps to help others and take the focus off of ourselves. That’s working for me at least for now.


  2. You are so wonderful Jaclyn! I so love reading about your journey in your relationship with Christ! I am working on “I don’t need everyone to approve of me” right now.

  3. You’ve almost given up on your life, but found that it’s okay to do so as long as you believe in god. It’s as if you hide from the world using religion as your shield. Why not look inside for strength and courage?

    • Dear Adam,
      Jaclyn is the epitome of strength and courage, beauty and light. And she strives and gives as a way of life and as part of her essence.
      Maybe you’re just mad at God, which is a really popular stance. I wouldn’t blame you for being mad at religion, but God and religion aren’t one and the same. Otherwise, we’d be in really big trouble.
      And if you have keys to finding strength and courage on the inside, please share.

      • I agree with Julie on this one. Jaclyn knows all about strength and courage — the good days, the bad days, and she definitely knows how to make the best of even the stormy days. And she does it all out of a love that is beyond herself.

  4. “As I work on it, I realize that I don’t need to do anything spectacular with my life…” What beautiful timing and wisdom, Jaclyn. I find myself continually pushing towards my goals to the point of unrelenting. My lacking peace along the way is probably a good sign that things need to be re-evaluated and priorities need to be shifted once again. Meaning well doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m on target. What a spectacular blessing you are.

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