The Value of Mercy
When most people think of mercy they think of a judge wiping away a prison sentence or a family member refusing to condemn the murderer over the loss of their loved one. The news is full of the “feel bad” stories of road rage incidents, fights on airplanes, and shootings over mundane issues.
Lately it seems as though mercy has taken a back seat to revenge.
One of the greatest examples that Jesus Christ ever taught on how to be merciful is the attempted stoning of the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11. Because adultery is a grievous sin, the Pharisees and teachers of the law seized the woman and threw her in front of Jesus. Drawing on the ground, Jesus then asked the Pharisees and teachers of the law if any of them were free of sin and if so would they cast the first stone. At that point all of them walked away, befuddled at the merciful response of God. Jesus was left with the woman, to which he simply said “Is there no one left to condemn you? Neither then do I; go your way and sin no more”.
It is a beautiful lesson on the compassionate and merciful attributes of God.
The mercy of God on human kind makes us feel better, happier and more content. Because mercy has been bestowed on most people of God, they understand fully what it means to be merciful in everyday acts where they ignore insults, refuse to prosecute a guilty party, or let an offense go.
The reaction of most guilty people to an act of mercy is inspiring to say the least. When people are granted mercy for the offenses they commit, their guilt is lessened and they are often remorseful. They are also more lenient on others and more hopeful now that their situation seems brighter.
To free one another up with acts of mercy creates a more patient, loving and hopeful world.
In the words of Jesus Christ, “freely you have received; freely give.” To freely bestow mercy on another person is an act of love and belief in the dignity of all mankind. Mercy is valuable in the sense that it has the potential to change the heart of a person whose heart may have been inclined to do evil. To practice mercy as Jesus teaches can change the hearts of men, ultimately making the world a better place.
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