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?

Can we receive mercy from God if we do not give mercy to others?


PS: Enjoy this video (as I wrote this post this song kept playing in my head)

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Kyle Reed

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Kyle Reed is a connector looking to connect with others. A 20 Something that is blogging his way through life and looking to connect through community. Also a team member of the 8BIT Network and brand evangelist. Find me on twitter: @kylelreed, lets chat.
  • Ben Woodard

    I hadn't really thought about these two like that before. While reading the post I kept thinking that whenever I have to claim the Mercy of God in my life I have to simultaneously claim my faults. Your right I think we do forget about mercy, before we forget about grace.

  • dannyjbixby

    “Grace is about us, mercy is about others.”

    BAM! Nailed it.

    This whole post is right on to me…and somehow incredibly dis-settling.

    Especially when you think of things like Matthew 6:15

    • @kylelreed

      Exactly, that was kind of what I was saying with the whole point about those who are merciful will receive mercy, what does that mean for those who do not give mercy?

  • bondChristian

    Yeah, I'm with Ben – I'd never considered them this way before… especially the part about others vs. me (so I guess I'm agreeing with Danny too).

    I usually think of them both in the classic cliche “Grace is getting what you don't deserve” and “Mercy is not getting what you do deserve.” Those help me keep the two straight.

    I wouldn't say they're the same thing, but they are both about going beyond what's required and right and just. So to answer your question, yes, I neglect mercy.

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

  • kamrie

    I thinks this is hard for me to realize because of two things. One is not a lot of people will ask you for mercy a lot of times it is something you have to see. That is what mercy is canceling a debt that someone did not necessarily ask to change. I think, Duffy puts it really well when she says, “You got me begging you for mercy but why won't you release me.” When someone is given mercy I have to release them from that mind set of you owe me pal.

    • @kylelreed

      good catch there Kamrie with the Duffy song, never thought of it like that.

  • David

    I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and wrote a song with the line “Grace & mercy, unfailing, give us life”

    It came out so easily, but like you say…they both need to exist because they are the same thing manifest in a different way

    • @kylelreed

      That is interesting. I like that line, but you are right, it can come out pretty easy, but is difficult to live out.

  • mike foster

    great post kyle! couldnt agree more!

    • @kylelreed

      Thanks Mike, appreciate it

  • Sherie

    Thank you! Wow.
    Convicted because I have such a need for the Lord to withhold his judgment and grant me mercy. And I too need to withhold judgment toward others and to grant them mercy in ways I haven't. Yet I seek grace, not just the withholding of judgment but the granting of a blessing I in no way deserve. I can even believe I am entitled to grace from other believers. Mercy hasn't been enough, I have expected grace too. Ugh!

    • @kylelreed

      I think that is the difficult thing, we believe (like you said) we are entitled to grace because mercy is not enough, good point.