A common definition of mercy, in the Christian context, is when we are not punished for our wrongdoing (sin), even though we deserve it. Jesus emphasises the importance of His people being able to display mercy themselves before seeking mercy from God by highlighting the conditional relationship of forgiveness; we must be forgiving of others for their sins, before we go before God seeking forgiveness for our own sins (Mark 11:25) and through the Golden Rule of doing to others what we would like done to us (Matthew 7:12).
That being said, it’s hard! Especially when it seems like the person is undeserving, their wrongdoing is really significant or you’ve shown them mercy before. Nevertheless, the blessing associated with showing and receiving mercy from God for our own mistakes can help put things into perspective.
Without exception, we’ve all failed to meet God’s holy standard, yet although we don’t deserve it, He is merciful to forgive us. Psalms 103:12 is a clear promise that, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
So when we think of how merciful God has been to us and as we thank Him for his compassion, forgiveness and love towards us, let us remember to model this to others. May God give us grace as we discipline our hearts, even at difficult times.