So it may surprise some of you to know this (or perhaps not…?) but 99.9% of the time that I prepare a blog post for Daily Thankful, I have no idea what I’m going to say. I’m not kidding – it’s like a form of writer’s block that happens every day!
What I usually do it this: I maintain a repository of Bible verses and inspirational quotes, and I start looking through them to see if something inspires me. Most of the time, I find something that strikes the right note with what I am feeling that particular day; other times, I need to do some online research to see if I’m able to find a quote, image, or Bible verse that ressonates with me on that particular day.
God is faithful. As I approach a year of blogging _ I’m still about a month-and-a-half shy of my one-year anniversary – He has given me something to write about pretty muh every day, although I have missed a day or two here and there (when unexpected events came to pass (or I simply fell asleep before I had a chance to post something for the day).
Today was such a day, when I was combing through my “faith archives,” and came across this Bible verse (which I found on the Bible app). The verse is a familiar one ot me, so I thought, “let me look through it quickly, and then see if that’s the verse I wish to use today.”
I nearly fell off my chair – metaphorically speaking, of course, because I’m actually reclining on the couch right now 😉 – when I came across these words in Luke 6:
“…He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
Say what? Did I read that right? God is actually kind to the “ungrateful and wicked”? And He wants us to behave in the same way?
Note that the verse doesn’t say, “God looks the other way when the wicked people mess up,” or “He’s actually pretty angry with them, and is getting ready to let them have it!” Oh no. The verse actually says that He is kind to people who are unkind to HIm (and His children), and – if I’m reading this correctly – He expects us to operate this way, too.
To fully understand the scope of this mandate, I had to look up a word I’m already plenty familiar with – “mercy”. Funny how God uses the everyday things that we think we fully understand, and shows us how much we still have yet to learn! According to our friends, at Dictioanary.com, mercy is defined in this way:
Really? Compassion? Pity? Clemency? Favor? Blessing? To the people who persecute me?
Yep. That is the right – and totally biblical – response. Powerful stuff, no? Remember this: We are only able to behave in this fashion by the power and enabling of the Holy Spirit. Left to our own devices, we hold grudges, resent people, and tend to lean toward being punitive, rather than showing clemency to those who have offended us.
This is challenging stuff. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be sitting with this truth for a little while….
Dear Lord, my goodness! The Christian life certainly isn’t easy, and Your standards are high and very exacting. How challenging it is for us to show mercy and forgiveness to those who have harmed us, but – when looking at the bigger picture – we should be some of the most loving, compassionate, and merciful people in the world, because You treat us with mercy and shower us with grace and compassion every day.
Thanks for this important reminder from Luke 6, and I ask for Your power to carry this mandate out on a moment-by-moment basis. In Your ame I pray, Amen.