Proverbs 11:17 “The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.”
I often need to refresh my attitude when working with people. I guess we occasionally and I’m sure unintentionally, wear each other out. There are many verses that help adjust our heart attitude including James 3:17-18. “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no partiality and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness.” These verses help us discern our own words, attitudes, and actions to see if the place we are coming from when working through issues or conflict are from an ungodly or godly perspective. A key word that will help us get the entire context of this verse is “mercy.”
Are you absolutely aware that almost every offense that ticks you off about other people, you yourself have violated. Proverbs 20:9 says, “Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”? We may not easily admit this but we often act like we’ve never committed the violation we are presently upset at someone about. Chances are huge that we have! Psalm 143:2 says, “Don’t bring your servant to trial! Compared to you, no one is perfect.” What this verse is saying is that in your eyes you will always be justified but the offender will never measure up to your standard. The truth is, not one of us would survive without mercy. Mercy is one of the most powerful forces in the world and the one that God used to bring you and I back to Himself through Jesus Christ.
God extends great and continuous mercy toward each of us. Psalms 86:5 says, “For you, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive; and abundant in mercy unto all them that call upon you.” As our character matures and is shaped by His Word in us, He wants that merciful heart to flow from us. Proverbs 11:17 “The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.”
If God continually has mercy on us, then it should also be given from us to others – often. It has the power to instantly soften and reunite our hearts with someone we’d otherwise be offended or upset with. If we learn to imitate God, we can bring mercy into our daily living experience when and wherever possible to help soften or remove offense and conflict.
I realize it doesn’t always solve the problems that cause conflict. It does give space and time to work out and work through conflict with the Heavenly wisdom spoken of in the verses above from James. We are all a work in progress and therefore all desperate for God’s mercy. As liberally as we would want or need it, let us give it out. Are you in conflict? Remember your own shortcomings and God’s continuous mercy toward you. It will help you instantly adjust your attitude. Then the mercy of God can flow without interruption from you.
In His love,
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.