Has anyone ever been kind to you when you didn’t deserve it?
God is merciful. Do you know what mercy is? Mercy is when someone deserves punishment but instead they receive kindness.
One time when I was in middle school I got so mad at my older sister that I punched her in the face. When my dad got home from work I thought for sure I was going to get it. He told me to get in the car. I was scared. Was he going to drive me far away and leave me there? Nope. He actually took me out to get a soda and we sat in the car and talked. I don’t remember anything he said that day, but I remember that I deserved a punishment and didn’t get it. Instead I received mercy. And I never punched my sister again.
Have you ever received mercy?
If you know Jesus, then you have. Jesus is all about mercy. Because God is rich in mercy he sent Jesus to die for our sins on the cross. We all deserved to die on that cross, but Jesus died in our place. We deserved punishment but received kindness instead.
And James tells us that we too should show mercy to others. Listen to what he says in chapter two of his letter:
James 2:13. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
James is telling us that if we have been shown mercy, then we should be able to show mercy to others. But we love to judge others instead don’t we? We love to make fun of others, or compare ourselves to others, or even hope that others will get the punishment they deserve. All of that is judgment instead of mercy. But one of the ways we know that we are trusting in Jesus is that we are able to show mercy instead of judgment. We are able to be kind, and forgiving, even when they don’t deserve it. Just like Jesus was kind to us when we didn’t deserve it.
Because of Jesus God has been merciful to us.
With Jesus we can be merciful to others.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Talk to your kids about forgiveness and mercy. Is there anyone that they need to forgive or be kinder to?
And here’s a great song to sing together about God’s mercy.
You are kind to me even when I don’t deserve it. Help me to always show mercy to others just like you do.
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