Living Mercy

Living Mercy

When it comes to living mercy, there are 3 P’s of Mercy that you should put into practice:

Prayer (What should I pray?)
Provision (What can I provide?)
Presence (How can I be present?)

Everyone can pray something. Driving by the homeless man at the green light, driving by the accident on the freeway, driving by your neighbors who have a really great life (so they think). Prayer is a given when it comes to mercy.

Provision is a tad more involved but the flavors number at least 26. Try M’s: Meals from the neighbors, mouthful of compliments, memory book of photos. Or B’s: Babysitting so the folks get a break, bailing water after the busted pipe, broken-window repair (even if it wasn’t your son’s fault). This is not MIT level thinking. More like “see a need, fill a need.”

Presence, though, now there’s when mercy goes all-in. Presence means you’re present. You show up. You sit and wait and worry with the worriers. Or encourage with the courage-less. Presence doesn’t just send money or food or restaurant coupon. Presence provides a person. Presence provides you.

If you can do all 3, score. Fantastic. But you should strive for 2 out of 3 as your 2013 standard.  You and I were not originally designed to live for ourselves. Sin tricks us into thinking that’s where fulfillment is hidden. In reality, living for ourselves only leads to emptiness. Living for others, serving others, doing right by others, is fulfilling and invigorating. It rejuvenates and releases. It’s what we were made for.

When Jesus asks “I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” He’s teaching us there is no neutrality when it comes to living mercy. No gray area. Failing to do good is evil. Seeing a need and doing nothing about it—no prayer, no provision, no presence—is not of Jesus.  No living mercy there.

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