I just finished an excellent book on forgiveness. Not an easy topic for anyone. I know. This author certainly doesn't skirt the reality of hard. And, in fact, emphasizes the truth that calling offense: "pain", "wrong" and "real", is an important step in genuine forgiveness. In order to truly forgive we have to look the reality square in the face... take account, and remember. Not easy. For anyone. I know. How in the world do we ever truly forgive?
Through the whole book, one particular phrase jumped off the pages at me and has been swimming in the recesses of my mind for these weeks. The words like chewing gum... only the taste doesn't go away... it gets stronger and more pungent.
I have been chewing on these words... Love mercy**
The author takes this phrase from Micah 6:8, where Micah reminds us what God wants of us: To love mercy...
As I have chewed on this phrase, there have been many thoughts feeding me from this theme. A pinch of this and a tablespoon of that... The flavor of the phrase is coming alive.
Those who have been forgiven much, love much. (Luke 7:47)
Love that comes from God... (1 John 4:7)
And, mercy triumphs over judgement... are just a few. (James 2:13)
What might it look like for me to live in this truth, day-in-and-day-out: to love, delight in, rejoice in, run-to... mercy. To choose mercy first. To choose mercy toward my family, my friends, my neighbors... and myself.
When I feel the natural urge to correct or to speak... love mercy.
When I want to punish... rejoice in mercy.
When he has done that yet again... adore mercy.
When I feel mis-understood... delight in mercy.
When I fall to temptation and feed my face with other loves... relish and receive mercy.
Love it, Stephanie. Love mercy.
Oh how I DO love mercy! What would I do without it? Where in the world would I be without the mercy of God!? I do love mercy. But, help me with my un-love, Lord.
Gently, the Lord whispers an invitation to my heart... Love much. Can you be merciful ---love mercy---in this situation, Stephanie? Right now, here. Today, can you love much?
Just chewing and tasting...
"Love is the last thing we need to ration in this world"~Brene Brown, Rising Strong*Bits n bobs phrase **Definition of mercy