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Day 16 | Mercy Application

Read James 2:1–12

Mercy is a display of God’s goodness toward humanity. He sees our distress and suffering caused by sin, and, out of love, His heart reacts compassionately. If fallen man can receive mercy from the God of the universe, how much more do we have the opportunity and obligation to extend mercy to those around us? Not only does He offer us the privilege of imitating Him, but He urges us to do so. God is mercy, and He expresses Himself by being merciful. As image bearers of God, we reflect His character when we grow in it.

Peel back the curtain on your heart for a moment, and reflect on the following question. In what circumstances do you find it the most difficult to show mercy? Toward whom do you struggle to display compassion? Be as specific and honest as you can. Now let’s dig down to the root of it and consider this question: What is the posture of your heart in those moments? I’ll go first. For me, the root is generally self-righteousness. Appointing myself as judge, I take my place on the throne, but, unlike Christ, my seat isn’t one of mercy.

Now that we have taken a peek behind the curtain of our hearts, we can learn how to apply God’s instructions specifically. Micah 6:8 sums it up beautifully in three statements: Seek justice; love mercy; walk humbly with God. Walking in humility is the key that makes the first two phrases possible to achieve in tandem. Without humility, both acts of justice and acts of mercy flow from self-righteousness. I would argue that it’s impossible for self-righteousness and compassionate mercy to coexist.

How does the Christ follower extend mercy? By forgiving as we have been forgiven. By caring for the needs of others as Christ has done for us. By giving of ourselves to aid others in distress.

As you seek to imitate Christ, remember He takes His seat on mercy. Now, let’s live like this is true!

Pray for 10 minutes