Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Micah 6:8, love mercy


...to love mercy; to love kindness; to love goodness; to be glad in every opportunity that affords the option of doing a kindness, in being delighted in showing favour, ' loyal love', honouring the commitments we have made that meet the needs of others.
By definition; forbearance to cause or allow harm to another; forgiveness, compassion or pity shown to another.
Mercy is a state of love without respect to persons, conditions, or state that requires acts of kindness to restore, to relieve from acts of oppression, burdens and afflictions; to comfort, support, strengthen and deliver.
Romans 12:10, "Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another." The idea of 'kindly affection' is linked to concept of 'kinship'; "love the brethren in faith as though they were brethren in blood" (Farrar), further to that it defines the gentle and sensitive love of a mother to her child and the delight of the feeling of that love. In the context of what happens in our churches this can sometimes find us wanting. Paul was really after the thought that Christians are constrained to obey, not from force or command, but from conscience, from sincerity of love, from duty to a God Who thought it not unworthy to love to the point of death (Eph. 4:32). Romans 13:8 "Owe to no man anything, but to love one another: for he who loves another fulfills the law." Romans 14:13, " Therefore let us not judge one another anymore. but rather resolve this,..."
I am fully aware that Paul is addressing Christians here, but how great would be the impact on our community if in practice that which was occurring in our churches was a common occurrence of Christians in their interactions in daily living. Mercy, not judgement, only love, care and concern for others, a gracious attitude esteeming the lives of our fellow citizens, a kind word, a word of encouragement, a willingness to say "I'm sorry"... or "Thank You".
There is a reason why in Micah 6:8 that acting justly is mentioned before loving mercy, there must be a point of reference defining what is due or owed to others that directs our actions in expressing the essential nature of how those actions are worked out in the flesh. Kindness in terms of an act of mercy seems to be lost in a world of 'one-upmanship' and 'looking out for #1' at whatever cost. I have to admit I am not always kind, and sometimes being willing to 'say sorry' does not nullify the harm already done by my actions or words.
Showing mercy also lends itself to the concept of 'being right'. Being right comes with a cost, it can subjugate, it can vilify a person, it can divide, and it can destroy. By this I mean that bringing into slavery a person to a thought is not always worth the argument, in that, a slave is not always a willing participant in any undertaking and may do what is asked but at what cost to the cause. In being vilified, leaving a party to believe they are now an enemy burns all bridges and future opportunities for a healthy exchange of thought and/or any involvement in their lives at all. Division is an obvious consequence without any further explanation required. Destruction, a person coming to the table with a new thought or idea, especially in relation to newness or enthusiasm, desiring input and connection, to be argumentatively or callously shoved aside because they are not right, may destroy and cause them to withdraw and never interact again.
I am so thankful for those who at one point must have listened and smiled, but chose to remain silent and instead gently nourished me, and encouraged me to keep searching to find real truth.
The etymology of the word 'good' means to unite, to associate, to be suitable. It ties in with the purpose of mercy, to be a person who is willing to be there, irregardless, association without judgement merely acknowledging (or not) the differences, willing to be used for a purpose beyond where we would find comfort. Sometimes showing mercy comes with some stains.
2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

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