Mercy Compared to Forgiveness, Love, and Grace
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
To understand the significance of mercy, let’s compare it to three amazing attributes of God. First, mercy has much in common with forgiveness, although it is distinct from it. God’s forgiveness of our sins flow from His mercy. But mercy is greater than forgiveness, because God is merciful to us even when we do not sin, just as we can be merciful to those who have never done anything against us. God’s mercy does not just forgive our transgressions but reaches to all weaknesses and needs.
Just as forgiveness flows out of mercy, mercy flows out of love. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (Eph.2:4-5). Love is greater than mercy – it can manifest itself even when there is no wrong to forgive or need to meet.
Finally, mercy is also related to grace, which flows out of love. Grace and mercy have the closest possible relationship, yet they are different. Mercy deals with the consequences of sin, while grace deals with sin itself. Mercy offers relief from punishment, grace offers pardon for the crime.
Just look at what the Good Samaritian did. When he found a Jewish traveler who had been robbed and beaten, he held no animosity toward him. Love motivated him to show the man mercy when he bound up his wounds. And when he took him to an inn and cared for him, he showed grace. Such is the expression of mercy working with forgiveness, love and grace.
Ask yourself: Is there someone to whom you need to show God’s mercy, expressed through your love, your grace, our forgiveness? Think of how you can turn your merciful intentions into practical action
Taken from Grace for Today