All the grandiose acts of mercy I planned on doing to celebrate the year seem farfetched to me now. Just like New Year’s resolutions, the beginning of the year momentum has dwindled and the guilt of not checking things off my list has begun to sink in.
I mean, didn’t Jesus tell us to “be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36)? So I should be out doing great and marvelous works of mercy that save the world just like God did for us when He sent Jesus, right?
Maybe. But I can’t expect to do marvelous works of mercy if I can’t even do the little ones. So here are 3 super practical ways we can show mercy in our day to day lives just like our Father.
1. Oftentimes we can assume the worst in people, but mercy calls us to assume and think the best.
Has your roommate been annoying you lately? Instead of assuming they’re the worst person in the world, assume they’re having an exceptionally bad day and offer them a warm beverage instead of a cold shoulder.
Did your friend blow off your hangout date? Don’t assume they ditched you for their significant other, rather assume they remembered a paper was due at midnight they never started and forgot to text you to reschedule.
2. Sometimes our judgements of others seem justified, but mercy calls us to turn our judgmental thoughts into complimentary ones.
Are you thinking about how that girl over there surrounded by boys is a huge flirt? Or how that guy in your class who always has an opinion is a pompous know-it-all?
Counter those negative and judgmental thoughts with ones of mercy by immediately thinking up 3 things to compliment them on (even if the compliments are only in your head).
3. Nothing is more merciful than forgiving someone who has wronged you, even if it’s something seemingly insignificant.
Did your roommate/friend/sibling “borrow” your clothes without asking? Instead of getting angry and upset with them, forgive, forget, and calmly ask them to check with you next time before they borrow your clothes.
Remember that friend from before who blew off your hangout date? Forgive them for not being there, even if it was the twelfth time in a row that they blew you off.
Every day presents opportunities to show mercy. Let’s pray for the grace to see them and rise to those opportunities. After all, “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8), so can’t we die to ourselves once in awhile and be merciful in forgiveness to others no matter how they've wronged us?