“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7
This is the only one of the Beatitudes where it’s a one-to-one relationship (if you do XYZ, XYZ will be shown or done to you). God’s mercy towards us in incomprehensible. Mercy is God withholding from you what you really deserve. When we say that God is rich in mercy, it truly means something.
I believe this verse is here (among other reasons) to remind us that we can become vengeful and spiteful if we aren’t careful. We can become bitter and harsh and hard and uncaring just living in the world. We judge fairly easily, don’t we? I know I do.
How so, you ask? What do you think about the Punk Rocker with thirteen earrings in one ear alone and a bright green Mohawk? Is your first (2nd, 3rd, and 4th) reaction to show him to the nearest exit or to invite him for lunch? What about the family of ten who comes in wearing raggedy shorts and shirts and disturbing your worship? Again, do you wish they’d sit elsewhere or do you ask them nicely if you can lend a hand?
Mercy comes in all kinds of forms. It’s not always as easy as we think.