"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." Matthew 5:7
All through the New Testament teachings we see that to be forgiven we must forgive others. And as we look at this verse we could think that we have grasped the whole meaning of this beatitude. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe that it is important for us to be forgiving towards others, because God is serious when He talks about it.
I think to better understand we need to go back to the original language. The word for mercy is “Chesedh”. It means the ability to get right inside the other person’s skin until we can see things with their eyes, think things with their mind, and feel things with their feelings.
This is much more than feeling sorry for someone. I have often thought the greatest gift you can give someone is to try to understand them and than to accept them as they are. This is difficult because we often judge people by how we would handle situations. We measure everyone by our standards and that is not fair, they will never measure up.
Have you ever been judged by someone and you know that they find you lacking? I will never forget when I was on my internship the Pastor told me He was going to a workshop on how to work with difficult people. He showed me the literature and I was excited because I saw that it was learning to work with different personalities. I knew in my heart that we were very different in how we handled things and I often felt judged and condemned because I was not like him. I wanted to be the person that God created me to be. After years of struggling with being shy and finally figuring out who I was in Christ, I was beginning to feel content.
The Pastor came back from his workshop and had me take this test to discover my personality type. I was the exact opposite of him. Again, I thought finally we can learn how to work together. My eagerness in feeling that I would finally be understood were crushed and demolished in a matter of minutes. He took every single one of my traits and told me why I was not going to be a good church worker. I was devastated. He was supposed to be my teacher and he took this opportunity and destroyed it.
It took me a longtime to get over what happened that day but through God’s love and mercy and the love of my family and friends, I was once again okay with who I was in Jesus. And because of God grace and love, I was able to forgive my Pastor.
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not hall have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all of the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to us.” Romans 12:3-6