MERCY – WHAT IS IT?
By Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© December 2017, LD Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Definition. Common definitions of mercy are:
1. Simple kindness and compassion.
2. Forebearance, patience and forgiveness toward an enemy or offender, or another who is within your power.
3. Pity or benevolence.
4. Thankfulness. This is related to the word in French merci, which translates as thank you.
5. In Jewish, Christian and Hindu religious writings, mercy is one of the qualities of God.
ANOTHER DEFINITION OF MERCY
Mercy can also be defined as the best possible outcome. When one asks for mercy – to a judge, or perhaps to God – one is asking for the best possible outcome in the situation.
This meaning is important because the best possible outcome is not necessarily the easiest for a person. It might be a difficult outcome, in fact.
What matters, however, is that one is asking for GodŐs Will in the matter. This is a higher teaching than just asking for a light or lenient punishment for a crime, for example.
IS GOD MERCIFUL?
The Bible repeatedly states that God is merciful. What exactly does this mean? We think it does not mean that everyone gets a lenient or light punishment for sins. We think it means that God is fair and metes out the most fair punishment or reward to everyone.
In this sense, mercy has to do with justice.
MERCY HAS TO DO WITH LOVE
God is merciful because God is loving. This is a very important perspective. It is due to GodŐs love, and human love, as well, that one can be merciful.