Mercy Begets Mercy

13 For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13).

Imagine you disobeyed your parents in way that deserved a just punishment. Let’s say you were very disrespectful to them in front of your friends. But instead of getting what you deserved they decided to bless you instead. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Let’s say it was the beginning of the school year and instead of punishing you for a moment of disrespectful behavior, they gave you $1,000 to spend on new clothes for school. So you plan a trip with your friends to a huge shopping mall and it turns out to be a blast. You found tons of great things to wear, you had a great time with your friends, and you actually had some money left over that your parents let you keep to spend on whatever you wanted.

Sounds great doesn’t it?!

Now let’s say your little brother or sister (imagine it if you don’t have one) asked you for $1 so they could buy a pack of gum and you angrily said to them, “No way! If you want to have some gum you need to get a job and earn it! You think I am just going to give you MY money!?!
That’s crazy!”

Of course that would be a very silly thing to say because your little brother or sister can’t go out and get a job to earn money. That is why they asked you for a little money. But more than that, why do you think your response to them would have been so horrible?

It’s because it shows that you were not really thankful for the mercy and generosity your parents showed you in not discipling you and giving you such a large amount of money. If you really understood what was done for you, wouldn’t it follow that you would want to show the same kind of mercy to your little brother or sister? And plus, $1 is such a small amount compared to the $1,000 that your parent lavished on you.

Can you think of how this relates to our relationship with God? If not, consider the scripture below for another example from Jesus.

Read Matthew 18:21-35
• What does this parable from Jesus have to do with our devotional today?
• What does this parable have to do with our verse for today?
• How have you been shown mercy?
• How can you show mercy to someone in your life?

Our Father, thank you that you have showered your mercy on us in Jesus through the truths of the Gospel. May we display that we understand this and be overflowing with thankfulness and joy such that we are glad to show the same kind of mercy to others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.