Showing mercy is withholding the punishment someone deserves. It can also mean relieving or preventing someone’s suffering. The Biblical words translated mercy are also translated or coupled with kindness, loving-kindness, steadfast love, compassion, and pity. Mercy is motivated by compassion and sympathy.

God is the perfect example of mercifulness. Everyone who commits a sin deserves eternal death (separation from God). God provides a way for us to avoid this punishment. God desires everyone to accept his mercy, but his mercy is conditional. It’s a gift that cost him the ultimate sacrifice on the cross.  Psalm 103:8; 2 Peter 3:9; Ezekiel 33:11; Romans 6:23

We must show mercy in two ways. We must desire reconciliation with our enemies rather than punishment. Responding to insults with blessings and praying for our enemies are some examples of extending mercy rather than seeking revenge. We must also be moved by compassion to help those who suffer. The merciful do not ignore misery but do what they can to alleviate it. Showing mercy toward others is one way in which we follow God’s example. The unmerciful will receive no mercy from God.  Luke 6:27-36; Luke 10:25-37; James 2:13

“Return to Yahweh your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents from punishing.”  Joel 2:13

~ SR

Ruhmann, Scott. “Word of the Week: Mercy.” 27th Street Church of Christ. Access date: .