Tag Archives: God’s mercy


Our kids loved to wrestle with each other when they were little.  If things got out of hand, the one who felt overpowered could cry out, “Mercy!” This was their signal of surrender. All tickling and roughhousing (at least in theory) was supposed to cease.

Mercy calls out to the stronger to acknowledge the weaker one and show compassion. Mercy is woven throughout the Bible.  It’s is at the heart of God’s motivation for our salvation.

Yet mercy is sometimes treated as a lesser virtue. Mistaken for mere sentimentality or emotionalism, mercy is seen by some as weak.  James wants us to put mercy in its rightful place.  Mercy is worthy of our deepest respect, he argues.  It’s the social code by which believers are called to live.

James exhorts followers of Jesus to a life of words and deeds governed by mercy:

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.James 2:12,13.

The  Key Word Study Bible contains a thorough description of mercy:

Mercy,or eleos in the Greek, describes the compassion in which one undertakes to alleviate another’s misery and relieve their suffering.  Mercy is any act which attempts to address the plight and wretchedness of others. Jesus used the story of the Good Samaritan to demonstrate eleos:  (Luke 10:37).  Love and Loyalty for Yahweh were measured in the manner of one’s dealing with others.  To be hard-hearted, letter-of-the-law insistent, and unmoved by any extenuating circumstances violated the spirit of the law

God treats me with mercy. So naturally, it should characterize the way I treat others.  Pure and simple.  It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

Lord, slow me down today. Show me what causes my heart to be hard at times. Resistant to giving or receiving mercy.  Could it be that I am simply moving too fast to notice the one in need of Your mercy?  I pray for a new vision of mercy as the true heart of Jesus.   Make me especially alert to watch for opportunities today to show eleos to one of Your children.

30 Days of Thankful: Day 15

Surprisingly, a sense of thankfulness can accompany a time of loss.  My friend Jenny shares how a family tragedy actually gave her a new perspective on gratitude and God’s grace.

GUEST BLOG: Jenny Schmitt

I recently heard a sermon which reminded me that we sometimes extend forgiveness to others based on just how much we recognize we have been forgiven. In the same way, at least for me, I am more thankful because of just how much I have lost.


When I was a young kid of 21, I lost my mom to breast cancer after a 2 ½ year battle. It was a terrible thing to walk through for my whole family. The upside is that it drew my dad and my siblings closer together, and made us realize how short time really is. Up until that time, we all got along fine, but we weren’t calling each other every day and intimately a part of one another’s lives. That changed when mom died. We realized that petty things don’t matter, but the time we have together and how to spend it did.

We are not a perfect family by any means, but we have gotten pretty good at not sweating the small stuff. And for me, I am so thankful for the time we continue to have together.

My dad celebrated his 85th birthday this summer, surrounded by his family and friends. It’s been 27 years since Mom died, and he embraced thankfulness by continuing to live, not stopping just because he lost his wife. As I watched him look around the room, I could see the happiness and gratitude on his face. We’ve had many medical scares along the way as he has gotten older, and he continues to overcome them. To make it to 85 is such a blessing!

My favorite verse is Lamentations 3:22-23: “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”  I am thankful that God’s grace and mercy are fresh and new each day.

No matter what yesterday looked like, today is a do-over! Don’t sweat the small stuff. Love people well while they are in your life. Be thankful. And if you fail at it today, God willing and with God’s grace leading the way, you’ll have another chance tomorrow!