In Need of Mercy

Michael Beck

“Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6:36-38)

A critical eye sees failure all around. It marvels at people’s stupidity; while priding itself on being better than others. But the same critical eye that puts people in two different camps: the successful and the unsuccessful; the winners and the losers; can also be turned inward. What happens when we aren’t achieving our goals, and have nothing to glory in?

It pays to be mercifully generous toward others. “The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.” (Prov. 11:17) Those who can see others through the kind eyes of God, can see themselves through those same eyes. The merciful obtain mercy. (Mt. 5:7)

Judas held the bag, but he didn’t care for the poor. (John 12:6) His position called for him to be generous, but he wasn’t. And when he was in desperate need for generosity from others, it wasn’t there. “… I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.” (Mt. 27:4) The unmerciful man had troubled his own flesh. He now saw himself through the same critical lens he had applied to others. “And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.” (Mt. 27:5)

Generosity is a quality of spirit. The bag of the generous is open to not only give money, but mercy in every form to every person, especially to the undeserving failures in life who are miserably broke. Practice generosity, especially when you’re doing well. A day may be around the corner when you will need all the mercy you can get.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.