24 “But woe to you who are rich,
for you have already received your comfort.
25 Woe to you who are well fed now,
for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.
26 Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Recently, I had the opportunity to show mercy when I really didn’t want to. Someone had wronged me and I found myself at a crossroads. I had the choice of either getting mad, getting even, and potentially getting this person sacked under the company’s HR policy, or I could show mercy. God loves mercy! (See Psalm 145:9) He loves to give it to us – the undeserving, but he also loves when we do the same for others. I realised, fortunately just in time, that my other workmates were watching – looking on to see what I would do. The stakes were so, so high. If I blew it and let my anger bury this guy who wronged me, how would my workmates see what God is like and know His mercy for them? I HAD to show mercy. We MUST show mercy. We must be merciful as our God is merciful (see verse 36). How else will those around us know this wonderfully, generous, gracious God who, “is kind to the ungrateful and wicked”?
Thanks Lord, for being merciful to me. Help me to show mercy to those who hurt me so that they will come to know you.
Written by B van Noppen