Do you recall the saying, “What goes around, comes around.” That is very much like this verse here in Matthew 5:7.
Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
This verse can also be read as, “Blessed and happy are those who are compassionate for others because you will receive and be shown compassion in return.”
I want to share with a scripture that we find hard to swallow and put conditions on it with certain people and circumstances, but Jesus says something differently.
Luke 6:27-38 (KJV)
27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, 28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. 29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. 30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. 31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. 32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. 33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. 34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. 36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. 37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Now here is a story form of this scripture fromthe Message: (Luke 6:27-38) “To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst.When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person.If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.”Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that.If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.”I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst.Our Father is kind; you be kind.”Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier.Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”
Wow! it puts it in a bit more of a perspective. King James, had sting to it, then reading it in “my” kind of “plain english” is a bit harsher. It is sad to say we do behave in these manners toward different one. We tend to pick and choose to whom we will love and be kind to. We wear different faces and attitudes with different people also. Jesus tells us here not to live, behave and act like the natural, ungodly man or woman. Don’t be a pretender. If you behave one way with one type of person and another with someone else, you are a pretender. God doesn’t want us to be pretenders. People see right through it all. What you dish out to one is what is going to be dished out to you….it may not be as pleasant as you tried to make in your attempts.
….beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
11 And he gave some…. 12 For the perfecting of the saints…..for the edifying of the body of Christ:
14 …. be no more children…..15 ….speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
22….ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil.
Ephesians 4:29-32 (Amplified) (The Amplified seemed to explain these verses a bit better than I think I could have.)
29 Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God’s own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin). 31 Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind). 32 And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.
I said a few verses, guess I should have put the complete chapter here to read…..
Here, we have read and seen how we are to conduct ourselves. Mercy, compassion, is running through and through these verses. Forgiveness is compassion. It is not holding on to another’s eer. Speaking to and treating ones with honor and respect is being merciful and compassionate. It doesn’t matter if one deserves compassion or not or the respect. We did NOT deserve the compassion and mercies of Christ.
If we choose to disregard these instructions of God, we grieve the Holy Spirit. We bring sorrow and heaviness to the Spirit of the Lord. Let us recall a time we were made sorry and ached in our hearts deeply by watching the actions of another and we could not do a thing about it…free will and choice. This is what takes place in the very Spirit of God….the Holy Spirit has been greived….He has been hurt by our actions.
Being kind is showing mercy. It is not a choice to be kind, compassionate and merciful, but a command of our Lord Jesus. We may or may not experience mercy as we would like to “see” it. Stop looking at this mercy as a “thing” deserved, but about what the Lord is doing with what you have done out of obedience. He will show you the mercy you need to receive. God is a very merciful God. (Duet. 4:31; Psa. 37:26; Joel 2:13, just to name a few.)
Trusting you to experience the fullness of God’s mercy for you as you show it to others. Let not yourselves grow weary, for God’s grace surrounds you as His hope is a beacon in your journey. God bless you.
*Note : the illistration is used by permission by Mike Waters; The Joyful ‘toons – www.joyfultoons.com