Mercy

Matthew 7:1-2

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

For the past few weeks, my husband and I have been dealing with terrible flooding in our area. After seven days of being trapped in the house and surrounded by water, my husband took a boat out to pick up some groceries. When he returned, he remarked on how strange it felt being in public after such a long period of worry and isolation. He said that someone made a joke to him as they walked by, and he was so unused to conversation that he did not reply to them in time and they walked away with no response. Now, anyone who knows my husband knows how unusual this is for him. Nick loves to talk to people, and is one of those guys that typically ends up in some gas station for an hour telling stories to strangers. I bet the stranger in that grocery store left thinking that Nick was perhaps rude, or at the very least not very friendly. When in fact, that is not him at all!!

So quickly we judge others in society. One conversation, one look towards someone, one action can completely shape our view of another person. I have always thought that I held the spiritual gift of mercy. I have always tried to consider another person’s situation or point of view before jumping to conclusions about them. How easy it is though to lapse on this, and to make snap judgements about someone. This story from my husband reminded me that we often have no idea what is going on in another person’s life. Our friends, our coworkers, and even people that we pass by in the grocery store may be struggling with some terrible situation or event. We can all remember a time when perhaps we did not put our best foot forward, or were preoccupied with our own worries instead of thinking about those around us. As such, it is our Christian duty to always behave towards others with compassion and mercy, even when we feel like it is not being returned to us. It is not always an easy thing to do every day, but sometimes these little reminders help us to continue to try.

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