Blessed are the merciful, because they shall receive mercy.
Our Posture Towards Others
At this point in The Beatitudes I believe we change directions. The first four are primarily vertical, my posture toward God. The next four are horizontal, my posture toward people in my world.
Merciful. Compassionate, gracious, ready to go the extra mile, long-suffering, and not repulsed by the neediness of others.
Too often we look at others who struggle in life as we do and find it so easy to judge them. Ourselves, we excuse. Others we criticize, write off, gossip about, avoid, shun, curse, or maybe just shower with our disapproval from a distance. If they have severely harmed us, or disappointed us, or failed to provide us with what we thing we were owed by them, we can carry bitterness and unforgiveness.
But the person who has truly owned their brokenness and spiritual poverty, grieved that condition before God, then meekly submitted themselves (warts and all) to God, while still hungering and thirsting to become all that God had created him or her to become, that person turns to other broken people in their world with a different attitude.
The Attitude of Mercy
We, who have experienced God’s profound mercy at the point of our deepest need, find something growing in our hearts that causes us to see others differently. We consider mercy as the posture in which we approach others. We no longer judge. And it is so much more than pity or sympathy, we have empathy (a real emotional awareness of a common plight of personal needs). We want to lift up, not put down. We are ready to get down and dirty to come alongside those in need.
There is an amazing quality about mercy, it begets mercy. Those who have experienced mercy find joy in passing it on. And in the process, find it coming around to greet them over and over again from God.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the seventh post in a series exploring the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12. Read the last post on “The Beatitudes: The Ones Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness.”
The series is based on Dr. Bill Fowler’s Gilhousen Lecture given July 14, 2020 at YTI. Watch the entire lecture on Facebook here.