5 Ways To Grow In Mercy In The Next Five Days
Jesus’ first and final teaching on what best characterizes the Christian life centers on mercy (Matt.7:7; Matt.25:31-46). Its as if mercy and mercy are the bookends of the Christian life. This means something.
This means, at very least, that every Christian should love mercy, and long to grow in the way they receive mercy from Jesus and give mercy to others, in his name.
Here are five ways you can grow in mercy in the next five days:
(1) Grow In Your Appreciation For The Mercy God Has Shown You
To truly grow in the way we show mercy to others, we must first grow in our understanding of and appreciation for the mercy that God has shown us through the Person and Work of Jesus.
Take a little time one day this week to consider the not so little way God has shown His mercy to you, outside any merit of your own. Read through Ephesians 1:3-14. Consider the truths about God’s mercy found there. Thank God for His mercy toward you in all these things.
(2) Grow By Engaging “The Jesus Prayer”
“The Jesus Prayer”is a short breathe prayer (a prayer meant to be prayed in one breathe as you breath in and out). Its simple words are: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
Pray “The Jesus Prayer”one day this week, throughout the day, as you find yourself thinking about your need for mercy, or your desire to show mercy to another. Engage this prayer especially as you encounter those who are difficult for you.
(3) Grow By Emulating Those More Merciful Than You
Pause for a moment right now (no really, pause here), and consider the most merciful person you know. Consider their way of life. Contemplate a time you saw them show an uncommon kind or amount of mercy to another. Contact them one day this week, and ask them what helped them grow in their desire for and delight in mercy.
(4) Grow By Reflecting On Your Wins And Wants Surrounding Mercy
One of the greatest ways we can grow in mercy is to remember and reflect on the ways we ‘won’ in showing mercy in any given day, and our ‘wants’ to better show mercy in moments we fell short.
Use a “Prayer of Recollection”one day this week, specifically focused on mercy. At the end of your day, take a few minutes to remember your day, thinking about your encounters with others. How did you show mercy in these encounters? How could or should you have shown mercy in these encounters? Celebrate or confess, where celebration or confession are in order.
(5) Grow In Unconscious Acts of Mercy Through One Conscious Act of Mercy
Living an unconsciously merciful life should be the end game for every Christian. This is the ultimate end, but its not often the beginning. More often than not, the beginning is one prayerful, purposeful, conscious act of mercy that sparks a desire to live a life of unconscious mercy toward others.
Throughout this week, pray over and plan for one intentional, conscious act of mercy toward another. Who do you know needs a specific act of mercy in their life? What is that specific act of mercy you believe is needed? When will you schedule a time to follow through on this act of mercy in the next week? How will you pray this specific act of mercy will help this person to see the sovereign mercy of Jesus?
What things have been most helpful to you in your growth in mercy?