Mercy Me, pass the Grace!

29 Sep

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. –Colossians 3:12-13

Grace means receiving something that you do not deserve; Mercy means not receiving a punishment that you deserve; or it means compassion, forbearance.

In our journey to become Holy, I am learning that understanding Grace and Mercy is second only to accepting Christ as our Savior. Loving our neighbors as a verb is the byproduct of this understanding; in the same breathe, I have also learned that it is far easier to seek either than it is to grant!

It is ego or self-centeredness that include fear, anger, quarrelsomeness, arrogance, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, reaction, judgement, insecurity. These are not God’s character. These are not His fruits in us,His fruits are amazing.

I tend to forgive rather than hang on to resentments but this is a process for me and usually includes needing to seek forgiveness as well. This is a human weakness we all share. The self-seeking gratification of wanting to defend ourselves,to feel important or vindicated.

But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, -Matthew 5:44

I am two people; I am God’s perfect design in me and I am my belief a.k.a the person of this world rather than the next world.

When I react in any way, outwardly or inwardly, to those that lash out at me in this world, I am no longer fearing God, I am no longer believing His perfect design in me, or His perfect plan for my life. I am no longer accepting His amazing Grace or His beautiful Mercy in my life. I am no longer humble but instead, completely full of myself and gladly listening to the whispers of doubt from the devil.

How easy to love or give mercy and grace to those that are kind to us, that accept us, that lift us up? It’s easy to love the lovers, its hard to love the prickly people. I am sure Jesus had a “right”to call a few people out on their behavior! But, His dying words to those that persecuted him emotionally, physically, were “forgive them Father, they know not what they do”. Wow! Could you be that full of love? That humble?

and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; -I Peter 2:23

We need to own our behavior. We need to look up and ask for wisdom instead of reacting from our ego (emotion).

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. –James 1:5

Imagine the peace in our lives,if we passed along the same mercy, the same grace that Jesus bestowed on us? Imagine the blessings He bestows in our hearts, in those that we would otherwise be engaged in battle with, if we chose to be Holy? That is who we are by God’s design. We just don’t believe it. Love yourselves as God loves you. Love your neighbor as yourself.

To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. -I Peter 3:8-9

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