“Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Lamentations 3:22-23 is one of my favorite verses. His faithfulness poured out for me. Never-ending.
Even as I can’t fathom such a thing, I also can’t get enough of it.
I find its meaning especially rich after a day in which I’ve been stubborn, self-serving, or self-righteous.
At the end of one of those days, I imagine God pulling out new mercies from His bottomless pocket. Sprinkling them down to completely cover me.
And then, sometimes I wonder why He continues to do it.
Why Such Great Mercy?
Have you ever pondered the same question?
Day after day, we receive new mercies (thank God, because I certainly need them).
Day after day, God pardons our sins. He forgives our disobedience and obstinate hearts.
Why does He continue to put up with us?
Why does a God of justice give us yet another chance?
Why does a righteous God not tire of our willfulness and sprinkle His mercies on someone more deserving (besides the fact that no one is deserving)?
The beauty of this promise of mercy is that it is for all His children regardless of what we do or why we do it.
If we are His children, washed in the blood of Jesus, then His mercies are ours. Unconditionally!
Why? Because He loves us.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
He doesn’t ask what we’ve done or why we’ve done it. He doesn’t wait until we are good enough.
God forgives. He offers grace. Because He loves us. Period.
My Kind of Mercy
Contrast that to my kind of mercy. It’s a kind with reservations. My, he-did-this-so-I-can’t-forgive kind of mercy. My holding-a grudge-because-I’ve-been-wronged kind of mercy.
Not really mercy at all.
What if the Lord offered that kind of mercy? Forgiveness that has conditions, that requires being good enough or doing the right things.
Psalm 130:3-4 affords the answer:
If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
Consider that. What if the Lord “kept a record of sins” when considering our salvation?
The Hebrew word for “kept a record of,” ṯiš·mōr, means keep, mark, observe. In other words, take note, remember.
Oh my, if God would consider our sins, keep them, take note of them, we would have no hope!
But praise the Lord, we do have hope!
But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you. Psalm 130:4
In Christ, there is always forgiveness for the repentant.
Forgiveness for us, and forgiveness for us to extend to others, sans conditions.
So how about it? Do you, like me, need to get better at offering mercy?
Are you ready to take the #mercychallenge with me?
Let’s try it this week. Let’s you and me try offering true, unconditional mercy this week.
To serve without asking why we should or why the individual deserves it.
To empathize, put yourself in another’s shoes, not criticize.
To love unconditionally.
Because love is what we are commanded to give…
…and how is it love to place conditions on mercy?
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
Reflections: What’s one way you can show true mercy today? I’ll go first in the comments, then you can join in.
I’m thrilled to link up with Suzie Eller for #livefree Thursday and this week’s prompt, “when mercy is all I have.” I love these special linkups. They provide an abundance of great inspiration and encouragement all in one place. Click on the images below to check them out.
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Yours in grace ≈