Today's reading

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. –Luke 6:36 NIV

September 17, 2023

Mercy Will Set You Apart

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. –Luke 6:36 NIV

Mercy is one of the more challenging characteristics of Christians. It is a trait that sets us apart from non-believers. Our human tendency is to give people what we think they deserve. If someone has shown kindness, we repay them with kindness. But, if he or she has slighted us, we are inclined to retaliate with an unkind look, word, or action. Yet, mercy is the act of withholding punishment from one whom we perceive deserves it. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7 NIV). He explains that mercy is what distinguishes us from non-believers. “And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that” (Luke 6:33 NIV). Our Lord has demonstrated ultimate mercy to us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for our sins. Throughout the day, you will have opportunities to show mercy, whether it is to an inattentive server at a restaurant or to a friend who disappeared from your life and is now trying to rekindle the friendship. Be alert for ways that you could show mercy today.

prayer focuses

Pray for a keen awareness as to ways that you could show mercy to everyone you encounter.

Pray for strength in resisting the urge to retaliate when someone has been unkind.


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about the


Ida Fiorella

Ida is a retired language arts teacher. She lives with her husband, Joe, in Ellenton, Florida. They attend Bayside and are blessed with three daughters, three son-in-laws, and nine grandchildren.