How do those words make you feel inside?
Does it make you want to celebrate, because he realized the errors in his ways and asked for forgiveness?
Or does it make you cringe that you will have to one day spend eternity with him in Heaven?
Hopefully it is not the latter, but I’ll be honest with you… for me, in some ways it is the latter. Granted, it didn’t actually happen (that we know of). But I do feel that even if I heard that news, I would not necessarily be happy for him. Well, I would be... but not quite as happy as I probably should be. There is this bad person inside me that says he needs to pay. (No lectures, please. I know this is not the way I should feel and I am sharing my heart.)
I do hope that I am wrong. I hope that if I had heard that news, that I would have been able to be happy for him. I would imagine all of his followers would be lead to do the same, too. How great would that be?
Anyway, this past Sunday in church, our pastor, Pete, brought this up as part of his discussion on mercy. For those who have been reading my Sunday Recap posts, this is the continuation of the series that breaks down the Beatitudes in Matthew.
This week he was discussing Matthew 5:7, Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Dictionary.com defines mercy as, “compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one's power; compassion, pity, or benevolence”.
Pete also defined it as, sacrificing your own honor or reputation to extend love, compassion and acceptance to someone who doesn’t deserve it and can’t pay you back.
Why are we so guarded when it comes to showing mercy? A lack of mercy is about control. In fact, it shows you don’t trust God. You don’t trust He will ‘convict’ someone enough or that He will change their heart.
There is something important we need to remember here. It is not our job to convict someone to our liking. And we cannot change what is in their heart. We cannot “fix” them, nor should we try. What is our ‘job’, is to love them and show them mercy.
So, when you heard of Bin Laden’s death, were you filled with relief and maybe even joy? What if he had repented? Would your reaction had been the same?
What if my title had a different name in it? What about Hitler? Stalin? Someone who has wronged you personally? Is there someone in your personal life who you have not shown mercy?
Don't forget, if you want to hear the entire service from this past weekend, click here, then click on "Week 4 - Receiving What You Give". My post here, is just a snippet of what was talked about and it was a great sermon!
Do you have a post regarding what you learned this past weekend in your place of worship? Please link it up below so that others can read it too!