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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Matthew 5:7

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Matthew 5:7

These words briefly and concisely summarize all of Jesus' teaching on forgiveness, acknowledging that mercy is something that is both given and received. In the parable in Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus speaks of a servant who was lavishly forgiven his own hopeless debt by his master but refused to grant the same mercy to those who owed him small, insignificant debts. When his master heard of this, he threw him in prison.

To forgive is never easy and is sometimes extremely difficult, especially when we have been deeply wronged. But the alternative to showing mercy is to be eaten up by resentment and bitterness, which hurts us still more, just like the unmerciful servant.

The reciprocal principal of mercy is also present in Matthew 6:12 where Jesus said we are to pray, "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors," and in 6:14, Jesus gives the stern warning that "if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

The end result of becoming a merciful person is joy. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Every relationship we have is greatly enriched by giving and receiving mercy and results in deeply satisfying relationships. A judgmental, critical attitude, on the other hand, hurts every relationship and destroys our joy and other's joy. So let us pray that God would fill us with His mercy not only for our own benefit but for the benefit of everyone around us.

Tom Day



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