Sunday, November 06, 2011

Mercy

I missed yesterday. I have been sick for three weeks and went back to the doctor on Thursday where I was given an injection and a new antibiotic. Hopefully it works quickly. I have a race in 6 days and I need to be 100% in order to finish. Anyway...back to my post...

Forgiveness.
Mercy.
Understanding.
Empathy.

How is it that we all expect these things when WE mess up, but we find it so hard to extend to those who have hurt us? Why do we hold grudges against others when they fail our expectations? How can we teach our children about unconditional love when we don't live it in our daily lives?

I always had a hard time grasping the concept of a "loving" God. My idea of God was more of a "judgmental" or "just" God. The idea of Him loving me unconditionally was so foreign. I thought I had to earn it, but I never felt I could because I fail daily. I am not perfect, so how could He love me perfectly? I was constantly trying to live up to what I thought I needed to be in order to be loved and accepted.

Fortunately, I found that God is not like that. He loves us lavishly. He rejoices when we succeed, and he weeps with us when we hurt. His love is not based on our behavior. He extends mercy and understanding, even when we don't deserve it. And He loves me so much more than I deserve.

Now, the challenge for us is to try to model that kind of love and mercy to others - especially our children. When someone hurts me, am I as quick to forgive them as I hope I'd be forgiven? Am I as quick to extend mercy as I am to accept it? Do my children see the love of God in ME? Will they be confident of my love? Will they be confident of His love? Or do they witness me holding grudges, or doling out excessive punishment? Do they see understanding, or do they see "justice"?

I once heard a question that has stuck with me for many years: "Do your eyes light up when your child enters the room?".

I know that our Father's eyes do.

Do yours?


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