I’ve shared this before, but it’s still a fitting segue into today’s recharge. I’ll never forget what someone I know said about someone he doesn’t like: “If I saw him on fire beside the road, I wouldn’t stop to help.” Wow! Now, before you label him hateful or insensitive, just think about what you would do if you found the person who irritates you the most in a compromising situation. What if he or she made a mistake and you had a chance to report it? Would you stick to the facts or use it as an opportunity to put the nail in the coffin?
Thankfully, Jesus provides the prescription for this scenario in today’s text. During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus encouraged those who were listening to be merciful. That’s right; He said it. And I love how He doesn’t define a particular audience toward which we should direct our mercy. In other words, we should be merciful to everyone, as often as possible. Why? Extending mercy is our ticket to withdrawing mercy later!
The Bible encourages us to live in harmony with everyone (see Romans 12:18). Showing unconditional mercy is a great way to walk in the Word. So if you have an opportunity to get even with someone who really irritates you, then decline the offer. Follow Jesus’ advice and be merciful.