I’ve had several opportunities to show mercy to people this month, even though I wanted nothing more than to just be spiteful and frustrated. I’ve tried my best to reign in my frustration, and treat them with kindness.
Problem is, my blog is public. And so I don’t really want to talk about what I did here, since anyone can read it. Including the people this post might be about. And whoever is reading this, don’t assume it was you. It wasn’t.
There are situations in life where you just want to throw up your hands and be done with it. But that’s not how Jesus handled things. He didn’t get frustrated when his disciples were just not getting it. He didn’t think it was bad when an “unclean” woman begged to be healed. He didn’t yell at Pilate or his accusers. Somehow, in all of this, he repeatedly treated people with kindness, even in his criticisms.
I am not there yet. But it’s getting better. I found that some of the things I practiced during my month of PATIENCE came in handy when trying to show people mercy, like “stop the physical part of impatience” and “check my expectations.” This allowed me to feel more in control of a situation, and understand what goes on behind my frustration and spite. I’m not sure if I was showing as much “mercy” as I was “not yelling at people,” but it seemed to at least frame the situation in a better light.
Showing mercy to people who might not deserve it also made me think about forgiveness and moving on. There are so many things we can hold against people — forgiving and setting forth on a new path without holding someone’s past wrongs against them are ways we can show kindness to people as well. Steve and I actually had a discussion about a few situations that we found it particularly hard to show mercy in. I encourage you to talk to your friends as well — after our conversation I had a new outlook on some of the situations in my own life.