The Beatitudes Part 5: Mercy Sought, Mercy Found

Note: This post is part five in a series of eight posts on the Beatitudes.


Jesus Christ whispered in the ear of the young emerging church and the world overheard Him speak of being “Blessed…”  These eight sayings are called Beatitudes, meaning beautiful attitudes.  The first four deal with initial attitudes.  The last four with the productivity of a life evidencing these attitudes.

Blessed is His promise.  It is a happiness, not dependent on circumstances, but character based on Christ’s teaching.

Eudaemonics is the science of happiness.  The definition implies there are certain scientific principles involved in happiness.  Laws of chemistry and math are fixed.  Their inflexibility has been demonstrated for years.  Likewise, the Beatitudes and their result are just as inflexibly fixed.  Protest and pretense won’t keep 2+2 from equaling 4.  Resistance and refutation won’t change the result of the Beatitudes.  Jeremiah 31:33 teaches us that God’s laws governing conduct and consequent happiness are fixed in hearts.

The Beatitudes are based on the presupposition that the world does not owe you happiness, nor can it grant it.  Only God can.  Compliance with His guidelines enables us to enjoy it.

If you are waiting for conditions around you to produce happiness, don’t hold your breath.  Latin for happiness, “fortuous,” is based on our fortune.  Christ’s kind of happiness is not dependent upon fortune, but fact and their faithful employment.

Marcus Aurelius said that “very little is needed to make a happy life.  It is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”  Therefore, think Christ-like thoughts.

To be merciful is to manifest compassion in action.  It is a word referring to going through something with another.  It speaks of entering into another’s problems with understanding and acceptance.  True mercy is genuine compassion.

Jesus spoke of right, not rights.  Mercy is an emotion that leads to action.  It unites us with the Father.  “Be ye tenderhearted, merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)

Don’t think this means that if you show mercy to others they will show mercy to you.  They may or may not.  God is the subject of the last part of this verse.  He always shows mercy to the merciful.

Muscle, not mercy is admired. Might, not right, is applauded. To refuse to show mercy is to break down the bridge which we must all sooner or later cross. James wrote: “He shall have judgment without mercy who shows no mercy.” (James 2:13)

The song “At Calvary” has these words:  
“Mercy there was great, and grace was free,
Pardon there was multiplied to me. 
There my burdened soul found liberty–at Calvary.”

Because of this, go show mercy.