Grace is a popular word, Mercy is not. Grace is tattoo worthy for christians, mercy is what you cry for when you are get a tattoo. We love grace, but we treat mercy like the step child. The interesting thing is they are much in the same. When Jesus came and established His kingdom He did so with a teaching that is commonly called the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5. He starts off the sermon with the “beatitudes” which shows us what it means to be in the Kingdom of Jesus. Inside of the beatitudes is this verse:
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.
We like the idea of grace way more then mercy. Grace is a little more sexy to talk about. Grace is the idea of getting something we do not deserve. Usually when we talk about grace we talk about the gift that God has given us in His Son and salvation. But mercy is different, mercy is an act that we do for others. It requires us to give forgiveness to others, to give something up, a sacrifice. Later in Matthew Jesus gives us a picture of mercy by telling a story of a man who owed a great debt (Matt 18). He said that the master who the man owed the great debt to forgave him and told him to do the same to others. We later see the man that was forgiven of a great debt hassling another man who owed him money. Grace and Mercy are the same, we just tend to treat grace better then mercy.
Grace is about us, mercy is about others. That to me is the main reason why we like grace over mercy. Inside of grace it refers to us, it is private, it is between man and God. Mercy on the other hand extends out to others, to us and to our neighbors. It requires a sacrifice. I am able to talk about grace all day, but when it comes to showing mercy I tend to pass it off. “They deserved it” or “I don’t have to give them anything.” These statements wrap themselves around mercy. They find themselves in between mercy and forgiveness or malice and anger. I think we love grace, but we forget about mercy.
Have you neglected Mercy in your pursuit of receiving Grace?
PS: Enjoy this video (as I wrote this post this song kept playing in my head)