Updated: Aug 24, 2020
So what are we going to say? Isn’t this unfair on God’s part? Absolutely not! He says to Moses, I’ll have mercy on whomever I choose to have mercy, and I’ll show compassion to whomever I choose to show compassion. So then, it doesn’t depend on a person’s desire or effort. It depends entirely on God, who shows mercy. (Romans 9:14-16)
Good Day Family,
No One Deserves It
I’ve been thinking about mercy. We all want it for ourselves. We are grateful when our mistakes do not harm us and our past actions do not follow us. Yet, it isn’t nearly as easy to desire to extend mercy as it is to receive it. Why is that? Why do we so readily pronounce judgement over the actions of someone else? Why do we have such a hard time when someone doesn’t get their so-called just desserts?
I think, in some ways, we really aren’t all that comfortable with receiving mercy. Oh, we don’t mind getting off the hook! But, rather than recognizing it as an unmerited gift, do we engage in a process of justification? We find a way to reconcile receiving what is a gift (and should be accepted as such) as something that we deserve. I often cringe at the expression that someone is “self-made.” The inference is that they made it on their own without anyone else’s help. That somehow no one else contributed to their success. They didn’t benefit from a collective education system, whether public or private. They didn’t utilize the skills, talents and labors of others in the process of creation or execution of their dreams. They didn’t receive encouragement and mentoring by others along the way that propelled them forward. No one is self-made. At the same time, no one is self-defeated. We are all products of our communities and the society in which we develop and live.
So, even our blessings are a measure of mercy. If we accept the blessing, we should accept the rest. If we receive mercy, we should extend mercy. There is perhaps no more Christ-like action than to be merciful. Blessed, truly, are the merciful.