Mercy in Our Relationships by Jennifer Waddle

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Mercy in Our Relationships
Series: Relationship Wisdom that May Move Mountains
Jennifer Waddle
James 3:17, Micah 6:6-8

 ‘‘Just call me Grace!’’

I laughed when I said those words, but my face was red with embarrassment as my broken sandal hung loosely around my twisted ankle. For years, I’d envisioned tripping on stage, but that day it became a reality. The sad part was, I’d tripped over nothing except my own two feet!

Despite my turned ankle and skinned knee, I hobbled to the microphone and said lamely, ‘‘Just call me Grace!’’

Grace and mercy are words we often hear in the church, and we interchange them seamlessly. But did you know there is a distinct difference between the two?

Grace is: God giving us something we don’t deserve (life, health, peace, etc.) 

Mercy is: God not giving us what we deserve (hell, death, punishment, etc.) 

In this series, Relationship Wisdom that May Move Mountains, mercy is listed as the 5th attribute of heavenly wisdom in James 3:17. 

‘‘But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.’’

What does it mean to be full of mercy? Do we reflect that in the way we live?

For starters, let’s look at the Old Testament book of Micah.

With what shall I come before the Lord,
And bow myself before the High God?
Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings,
With calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
Ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
(Micah 6:6-8)

There’ve been many songs and sermons written about Micah 6:8-beautiful words that give us direction and guidance. However, when we look deeper at the phrase ‘‘love mercy,’’ there is a wealth of meaning.

In Hebrew, the word for mercy is Checed. Unlike other Hebrew terms, this one carries a whole menagerie of meaning. Three basic attributes surround the word Checed.


Those three descriptions, in the Hebrew context, are linked to mercy. Without them, the true meaning is lost. Take a look at another passage in Micah as we bring this full circle.

Who is a God like You,
Pardoning iniqu ...

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