Blessed are the merciful for they will receive mercy.
God has always shown mercy to those who generously give it with a happy heart (Psalm 18:25). Proverbs 14:21 goes as far as to say “he that has mercy on the poor, happy is he.” If Scripture makes it so clear that God requires merciful hearts from His children (Micah 6:8, Luke 6:36), why do we yield so easily to a vengeful and unforgiving spirit?
Jesus answers our question in Matthew 18:23-35 through the parable of the ungrateful slave. He was unwilling to extend a minimal amount of mercy to a fellow slave even though the king had just lavished a much larger amount of mercy upon him. The selfishness of the slave was a direct result of his ungratefulness towards the king.
To be merciful towards others is to acknowledge the great mercy that your King has shown you. To refuse mercy to those around you is to proclaim your ungratefulness towards the Lord’s death on the cross. Furthermore, and as Proverbs 11:17 reminds us, “The merciful man does good to his own soul but he that is cruel troubles his own flesh.” There is an underlying truth in this verse that is expounded on in Proverbs 14 and by Jesus: Happy are those who continually live with a merciful spirit because their actions please God and He continually rewardes them with merciful treatment.
How happy are you this week? Have you been holding a grudge against a “fellow slave?” Are you thoughts and actions modeled after the mercy Christ showed you on the cross or after the ungrateful and merciless spirit of the slave in Matthew 18? Decide now how you will respond later.