JAVA WITH JOE presents
the view from the bottom
10 days of digging into the beatitudes
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
I often forget how radical of an idea mercy is. In Jesus’ time, it wasn’t necessarily the benchmark for how everyone should behave - everyone getting what they deserved was the celebrated plan. Mercy was radical then, and it still is today.
Mercy goes beyond simply “letting things go” or “forgiving those who ask for it, only when we’re feeling generous, or when we’ve forgotten why we were mad in the first place.” Mercy isn’t always comfortable or convenient.
It is, however, much more popular when we’re the ones asking for it. When we’re in the wrong, we think mercy is a great idea. It’s only when other people need mercy that we start to limit it or question it.
It’s been said that the gospel “afflicts the parts of us that are comfortable, and comforts the parts of us that are afflicted.” That rings true for the beatitudes, but this particular line is not so comforting to my afflictions. This one afflicts me where I’ve grown comfortable… because I’ve accepted that God is merciful. I LOVE that about Him. He’s forgiving, and I need forgiveness. A match made in Heaven. So it’s all good… but there’s more. We all know the Our Father, but the very next line after “deliver us from evil, amen” is this:
“If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.
Turns out mercy isn’t just the cup we drink from. It’s the cup we empty out, to share with others. Get pouring.
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