Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Some people would argue that the greatest gift you can give someone is love. I believe that the greatest thing I can ever do for a person is give them mercy. Unlike love, mercy is almost always difficult. Our concern for someone’s behavior or their choices comes out of our love for them, but our actions to address or eliminate those things are oftentimes just to make us comfortable. When I give someone mercy, I am saying, “I love you beyond your humanness. I love you in spite of your weaknesses and I’ll be here for you even when you are not making me happy.”
Mercy is the true exercise of love. Love is simple and easy when we enjoy someone and approve of what they do; when their decisions affirm what we believe and make us feel safe in our choices. Love is most difficult, however, when we see someone, in their weakness, make mistakes and poor choices and choose to remain true to them.
In my life, I have had several opportunities to give real mercy; sometimes I have withheld it and other times, through God’s grace, I have seen past myself and released it. I always find that, no matter how hard it is to let go of my ideas of how a person should be and give mercy, letting go not only frees the other person up to seek forgiveness, but also frees my soul from its piety and allows me to love more abundantly.