1 TIMOTHY 1:13
“even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;”
There are so many great words in this verse. Most of them point towards Paul’s former life before he met Christ on the Damascus road. Just like us, he acted ignorantly in unbelief. He thought he was doing right. He thought he was acting on God’s behalf. We do the same. We go through life as if we are just fine with God – UNTIL we meet Him on our own Damascus road.
But the key word today is “mercy.” Paul was shown mercy. Mercy is NOT getting what we do deserve. It’s God showing compassion and pity on us because of our covenant relationship with Him. Because of the shed blood of Christ, He extends mercy to us when we deserve hell. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we are forgiven.
There are times when you need to show mercy to your children. One more “crack down” on them will do them in. Our job is help mold their spirit, not break it. Sooner or later, your little Gertrude or Elrod is going to need some mercy. The question is can you give it.
Many parents think showing any kind of mercy is a sign of weakness. Nothing could be further from the truth. You are the authority. You have the power to enforce whatever rule and consequence you choose. Choosing to show mercy is a sign of control and strength to your child. They need to understand, though, what you are doing. They need to understand that you are choosing to show them mercy, just like our holy God has chosen to show us mercy.
Perhaps you are one of those parents who refuse to show mercy. May I warn you of something? Those who show no mercy will be shown no mercy. Don’t go running to God for mercy when you cannot show it yourself. When you choose to show mercy, you can appreciate it even more when you receive it yourself. And when you do, marvel at the relationship you have in Christ.
Mercy! I cry mercy, Lord. Forgive me! Show me mercy in my repentance. And help me show mercy to others today.