Mercy is the thing we all want, that none of us deserves, and that few are willing to offer to others. The Oxford dictionary defines mercy as, “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.” When we are wronged, our first thoughts are usually in response to our hurt and anger. The godly view, however, is to put others first. Mercy is looking beyond the harm to the person who caused it, considering the life circumstances that lead to wrongdoing. In other words, looking at the person who caused us harm through the lens of God’s love.
This is not to say that mercy ignores the harm. Justice still must prevail. There are always consequences for sin. However, mercy does not take justice into its own hands, but allows the Lord to enact any kind of vengeance or punishment through His will and according to His perfect justice. Being merciful is paired with doing justly and walking humbly (Micah 6:8). If we adhere to these three, we will not lash out in anger, frustration, and hurt when we are wronged – even when it is in our power to do so. Instead, we will see others as God sees them, and by His grace we can offer mercy in His name.