Blessed are the merciful, for they shall find mercy. (Matthew 5:7)
It was an especially difficult Analytic Geometry problem. I knew what I was doing wasn’t going to pan out. But my professor was an ex-seminarian; perhaps there was another way to rescue this situation. So I took the verse at the top, found it in Greek and emblazoned it on the top of my paper.
His response: “No mercy: 8.” Good thing that it was 8 out of 10, which was better than I had expected. So I found more mercy there than I thought I deserved.
Evidently this display of Biblical erudition made an impact, because when he handed back the paper, he patiently reproduced the Greek on the board, pointing out that it had appeared on my paper. One of my classmates asked, “How could he do that?”
His reply? “A very famous man said that.”
The “very famous man” was of course Our Lord Jesus Christ, who put it in the Beatitudes. He was insistent that we, as Christians, exercise mercy and forgiveness to others, as God had to us: “For, if you forgive others their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also; But, if you do not forgive others their offences, not even your Father will forgive your offences.” (Matthew 6:14-15)
We tend to harbor bitterness and resentment at those who have wronged us. But, had God done this, we would all end up spending eternity in hell. It’s great to hope that people get what they deserve…until you stop and think about what you really deserve, because you cannot live up to God’s perfection.
O LORD, who would be able to stand if you kept a record of sins? But with you there is forgiveness so that you can be feared. (Psalms 130:3-4)
For all have sinned, and all fall short of God’s glorious ideal, But, in his loving-kindness, are being freely pronounced righteous through the deliverance found in Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:23-24)