Mercy and forgiveness

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“Blessed are the merciful for they will receive mercy,” Matthew 5:7.

Mercy and forgiveness. Same or different?

Forgiveness means to cancel or erase a debit. Suppose you owe somebody money. That person then tells you he or she has cancelled your debt. You now owe nothing. That’s forgiveness. You go from negative to OK. Jesus forgives our sins. He cancels the debt. We owe nothing. We are not guilty. We are forgiven.

Mercy is different. You help the person. Maybe you make their day easier, or remove pain or fear. Mercy is active, you’re doing something to help that other person. When Jesus healed people He showed them mercy.

It’s very important to understand that all this starts with God. He shows us mercy. He forgives us. Now we are free to live His way. We are now free to show mercy to others. We do not show mercy to buy mercy from God. We do mercy because God was merciful to us. We live Jesus’ way. We have mercy on others.

The blessing? Because of Jesus in our hearts, we are free to show mercy. When we show mercy, sometimes others are merciful to us. More importantly, God is merciful to us.

This week, how much mercy can you show?