What Does God Require of You? Part Three

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8).

“To love mercy” is to willingly show kindness to others.

As with all virtues we can learn from God what is meant by it. Grace is God’s favor shown to spiritual rebels who repent. Mercy is God’s favor shown to those in distress. In His mercy He protects us from harm or punishment we deserve.

Our Lord is spoken of as “the Father of mercies.” (II Corinthians 1:3)

A close synonym for “mercy” is compassion. As followers of the Lord we are to show compassion toward others. “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like minded.”  (Philippians 2:1,2)

In general mercy means to feel sympathy with the miseries of others. God has such mercy toward us and we should show it to others.

Failing to do so results in some such persons as being as upright as a marble column and as cold and hard.

We should even have mercy on ourselves. When we do we overcome inferiority complexes. What might be considered handicaps didn’t handicap these.

Steinmetz, one of the greatest scientists of all times, came to believe he could be useful in spite of the fact his body was terribly deformed.

Milton was blind, but eventually he believed that, in spite of his blindness, he could write poetry that would make life sing — and he did.

Robert Louis Stevenson was sickly. He suffered chronic pain, but during his sickest years, he wrote some of his greatest masterpieces.

Beethoven reached the point at which he believed he could give to the world a composition like the Ninth Symphony, even though he was deaf.

Louis Pasteur made his greatest contribution after he had a stroke.

In showing mercy toward themselves these made of their adversities springboards rather than letting them be stumbling blocks.

On the beautiful Hawaiian Island of Molokai was a colony to which persons inflicted with the dreaded disease of leprosy were sent to live out their lives in misery. A simple noble priest, Father Damien, went there to minister to them. He did so for months addressing them as: “You lepers.” He met with no response.

One day he spoke to them as, “My fellow lepers.”

He had so identified with them as to have contracted leprosy. Thereafter, his ministry met with a positive response. His mercy was their hearts. It so won the admiration of our nation that a statue of Father Damien stands as the only religious figure under the rotunda of our nation’s capital.

All around are persons needing mercy. By showing it you model your loving Lord who has shown all of us His mercy.