“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph 4:32). If someone hurt, injured, or wronged you in some way, don’t be surprised if at some point God puts you in a position when you have the opportunity to get them back. That’s what happened to Joseph. His brothers wronged him terribly, but God blessed him. He became the Prime Minister of Egypt, next to Pharaoh himself. One day, the brothers needed food and they came to Egypt, and Joseph had them in his power. Now, what you do at that moment will be the most revealing thing about you. Joseph forgave his brothers. That’s what mercy does.
Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), always manufacturing rumors that would make a person think less of a brother or sister in Christ. Some Christians seem to be adept at helping him. Remember, it is as bad to believe a lie as it is to tell one, and it is as bad to repeat a lie as it is to invent one. Don’t make much of a person’s failings and little of their strengths and virtues.
A merciful person will make more of a person’s virtues than of their failings. Thomas Watson said that a man’s name is worth more than his goods, and “he that takes away the good name of another sins more than if he had taken the corn out of his field or the goods out of his shop.”
“Save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear (Jude 23). If you have mercy in your heart, you will speak to Christ about lost people and you will speak to lost people about Christ. A tender heart that cares and acts for the good of others will care deeply about people without Christ, and will act by sharing the gospel with them.
What could you do (or refrain from doing) to prepare you to be more merciful?