Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”

I find it easy to gloss over the Beatitudes if I am not purposeful about digging in to what they say, especially verse 7. But this message is repeated in so many ways throughout Scripture that it shouldn’t be avoided. We read in Galatians 5:14, “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: Love your neighbor as yourself.” The parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16 is also a parable of showing mercy on others, “And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” Luke 16:24. And it is repeated three more times in the Sermon on the Mount: “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:15; “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:2; and Matthew 7:12 “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” seems like such a simple concept. It seems like the natural thing to do. But it is so hard to live it out to its entirety. It might seem easy to practice this concept with those you like but what about those who treat you poorly? You and your friends do this all the time but what about the stranger you pass on the street corner begging for a dollar? Or, what about when life is beating you down and you have nothing left to give, or you’re angry and fed up with work, or your emotions are raw from the death of a loved one? What then? Can you still practice mercy, forgiveness, grace, love towards others in the same way you would want to receive it? Lord, help me to be merciful. I need your help!