I have always thought of myself as a good-hearted guy, but now I have scientific evidence to prove it.
As a result of the two day battery of medical tests on my heart, I can now document that my heart is good in every way!
In the Beatitudes Jesus gives you eight traits of a good heart. The trait I am dealing with this week is being merciful.
A simple and practical way of thinking about mercy is "giving grace when you are given grief" or you can say it is "being helpful to someone who is trying to be hurtful to you".
Mercy withholds justice and responds with grace. Jesus told a story that illustrated mercy:
"Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” Matthew 18:21-35
One servant gives a great look at what it looks like to be merciful and the other servant is referred to as "unmerciful".
Which servant had a good heart?
Which servant is most like you?
Where do you need to show mercy?