[Column] Seek the Blessing of Mercy

Seek the Blessing of Mercy

Written By Rev.Dr. Joshua Hong

Senior Pastor of Full Gospel Church of Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.

Divine mercy is the most important and the most needed thing in life. There is a story in the Talmud. A farmer sent out his son to neighborhood to borrow a sickle. The son came back with nothing. A few days later, someone from the neighborhood came by to borrow a sickle. As the father was about to hand the sickle, the son protested saying, “He didn’t lend me the sickle the other day. Why should we lend it to him?” The father then spoke the words of wisdom: “If we do not lend it to him because he did not lend it to us, that is revenge. If we lend it to him in SPITE of his refusal, that is hate. If we let go of bitterness and lend it to him because he needs it, that is mercy.”

That is right. Mercy is a great virtue. If God sees us sinners as we truly are and judges us, how many of us will stand? Our having been saved and daily sustenance are the blessings of God’s mercy. The Christian is he who died on the cross through divine righteousness and rose again through His mercy. To experience the abundant blessings of divine mercy, we must rend not our garments (“routine” repentance), but our hearts (sincere repentance) and return to God as in Joel’s message (Joel 2:23). Furthermore we must confess to the Lord our sin and offenses, seek His absolution, and do our utmost to live every moment by His grace and power. Truly blessed are those who put on God’s mercy and compassion rather than material wealth and worldly reputation.

If we received from God His mercy, we must live the life of reciprocating it to others. An honest, young Ph. D. candidate from the East Coast hurriedly boarded a plane and got off in Denver for his Ph. D. presentation at a reputable school in the West Coast. As he was running out of time to board the plane to San Francisco, he rushed to the gate and caught a glimpse of a woman in her 60s heading in the same direction. She was lagging behind hindered by her luggage. He ran to the gate with her luggage and told the attendant at the boarding gate to delay the takeoff of the plane as another passenger is coming. The lady finally got onboard and thanked the young man. As he arrived at the presentation, he remembered hearing about the most demanding and fastidious female professor on the panel of judges. He responded earnestly to the questions posed by the panel of judges and noticed a female professor on the panel. She was the lady whom he helped at the airport. During the presentation, she smiled and only asked easy questions. Eventually he earned his Ph. D. The man extended his mercy and was reciprocated only a few hours later.

Shakespeare beautifully describes the virtue of mercy in The Merchant of Venice: “The quality of mercy is not strain’d, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest; It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.” God is vulnerable to our tears. Seek the mercy of the Lord. And abide in it. Your life will overflow with new desires and happiness.

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