14th January 2011

Mercy And Forgiveness

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”
Matthew 5:7 (KJV)

To show mercy is to feel compassion and to act on the feeling.  Jesus is described in the New Testament as having compassion for the sick people around him.  Many physical and mental healing miracles are recorded in the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

There is more to mercy than feeling and acting on compassion—forgiveness is also involved.  In what we call “The Lord’s Prayer” Jesus taught us to pray, Forgive us our sins and trespasses as we forgive those who sin and trespass against us.”

To show mercy or to forgive can be very hard for someone who has been deeply hurt—for example: if we lose a loved one through the actions of another person.  If we do not forgive, it can lead to deep bitterness and even to a desire for revenge. This does not reverse the wrong perpetrated, and the resulting grievances on both sides are sometimes passed down from generation to generation through history, and can be seen in almost every nation. We only need to look at the warring clans of ancient Britain, wiping out whole tribes, to see this.

The Bible shows that vengeance belongs to God (Romans 12:19), and that we can trust him to deal with others, as we follow his example, showing mercy and forgiveness.

O merciful God, we know how compassionate you are. We know that you grieve at the sins of men on this earth and we ask you to look down and protect us, and give us strength when the evils of this world enter our lives.

Study by Sandra Moore 

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