Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Mercy Chart

My daughter and I were working on her Sunday school worksheet last night and she had to draw some lines from one stick figure to the next showing how many times she had shown mercy versus revenge in the last few days. Before I started asking her questions, she was sure that she had been "full to the top of mercy"  but by the time she had answered my questions the mercy scale wasn't looking so full! We both laughed, because my mercy scale isn't always so full either, and clearly we needed a little work.
Relationships require so much mercy! I've been thinking a lot about relationships and God's intention for them. Way back in the beginning when it was just Adam and Eve in the garden before sin entered, there was such a purity and innocence in their relationship, and in their walk with God. But, then things got really messed up when Adam looked off yonder, Eve took a big bite and shared it with Adam, they lied, they felt ashamed, etc...
So, now my question about relationships to myself and to others would be this: Are relationships in my life  there because I love them?  Am I  in their life to receive, to benefit, is there  something that I want from them?  I am there to serve?.  What I'm asking myself is, what are my motives in my relationships? Is the motive to further God's Kingdom, or to meet my own needs?
When I think about Jesus and the relationships He had on earth, they were always about moving people forward towards the Kingdom of God. He continually took their eyes off of Himself and onto God His Father. Jesus was an amazing dynamic leader, He did it by loving His neighbor, and spreading the Word of His Father. His ability to show them mercy, even when they mistreated Him was off the chart!
I've had the opportunity myself to show some mercy, and it's not easy. It's one of those times where I need to pray and ask God to allow His mercy to work through me, and with that give me His love so that His Kingdom will grow.
God has blessed me, and all of us with each other. We are gifts to each other. I like the image of the relationships in my life being gifts and of myself being a gift as well, something to be treasured and loved, full of God's mercy and His Spirit.
Jesus, Say That Again today, Your mercy is off the chart, You offer it to me in relationships and steadily teach me how to walk like You.

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