Blessed (Part 5)
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. — Matthew 5:7
Here we are at the 5th beatitude. If you are progressing along and have made it to where you absolutely WANT to do what is right no matter what the cost is to you, welcome to the next step in that progression. In this step, you have to do something hard…you have to choose mercy. Remember, just because I am writing these, does not mean that I am a master at these. In fact, right now, there is something that I have to make right in a relationship because I didn’t choose mercy. I will have made that right by the time that you actually read this WMD (hopefully). So, here we go…
I think it is interesting that so many athletic teams still say the Lord’s Prayer before they play their games. Not that I am against this at all. It is just that during that prayer there is one line that I know people don’t think about. It goes “forgive us our sins AS we forgive those who sin against us.” During the Lord’s Prayer, we ask God to forgive us in the same way we forgive others. I have had teams that I have coached say this prayer before every game. Then, I have watched most of them be ridiculously unforgiving toward others. This is very difficult to do. Jesus plainly teaches me in this one…I will obtain mercy to the same degree that I show mercy to others.
I recently heard a sermon where the pastor was talking about how everyone expects their loved ones to be in heaven when they die. We only see R.I.P. Or we hear “they are in a better place.” Then, the pastor raised this question “what if that recently deceased person had unforgiveness in their heart towards ONE other person?” It immediately sent me on a heart search through the past and present. What if I will be shown mercy in exact proportion to the one person I have shown the least amount of mercy?
Something in me wants to just say “awww, Jesus would never do that to me…it can’t be THAT big of a deal!” Then again, I have read Matthew 18:23-35. A guy owed the king 10,000 talents. A talent is equal to 20 years worth of wages. If you have a job, think about the amount of money that you would expect to make in 20 years. Now multiply that by 10,000! If a person makes $30,000 a year, that would be 30,000 x 20 x 10,000, which equals 6,000,000,000! This guy asked the king for MERCY, and the king forgave his debt. Well, after he received forgiveness for the debt, he saw a dude that owed him money. The amount of money that was owed to him was 200 denarii. I have heard preachers say this was some small amount, but it’s not really that small, though compared to 6 billion…it is pretty small. The amount was worth 200 days worth of wages. So, the same $30,000 per year comes to about $120 per day assuming you work for 250 days each year. Thus. $120 x 200 = $24,000. When he saw the guy, he demanded that payment be made. When they guy used the same words that HE used on the king, he refused to be merciful. Of course, that brought out all the tattle tales and word got back to the king. The king was furious with the guy and threw him in prison. Now, look at verse 35: “This is how my heavenly father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Now, who owes you? Who is it that you just can’t stand? Maybe they have wronged you and they deserve to PAY! Maybe you are harboring bitter feelings towards them still. What are you going to do about it?
For me, I have made so many promises to God that I haven’t kept…I HAVE to forgive and forget when people don’t keep their promises to me.
I have told God that I would do something…then NOT gone and done it. I HAVE to forgive those who don’t do what they said they would do for me.
When I haven’t always given my best to the Lord, He has faithfully continued to give His best to me! So, even though I have students who refuse to give me their best, I continue to give them my best because God has done so for me.
Even though I go out to eat and sometimes receive horrible service, I have to leave a good tip…God has always continued to tip me well even when I haven’t given Him good service.
Yes, people have done me wrong…I choose to forgive. Not because I am so wonderfully full of grace…but because I have been continuously forgiven when I have done HIM wrong!
I must be merciful because when I stand before Him…I want mercy.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.