A Faith that works when life doesn't Part 5 (Day 12)
Do You Want to Be Happy? Choose Mercy
God set up the world with universal principles. One of those principles is that the more you help other people, the more you will succeed and the happier you will be. Happiness doesn't come from living for yourself. Happiness comes from giving your life away and being merciful.
Proverbs 11:17 says, “A merciful person helps himself, but a cruel person hurts himself” (GW). That's another one of those universal principles: You get what you sow in life.
A great example of this in the Bible is the story of Job, who lost literally everything—his health, family, job, and wealth. His friends came to him in his greatest hour of need. But did they show him mercy? No! They judged, criticized, and second-guessed him. They kept telling him what he'd done wrong. “It's your own fault,” they said.
The great turnaround in Job's life didn’t occur when he thought about himself but when he mercifully prayed for the people who criticized him: “When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his wealth and happiness! In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before!” (Job 42:10 TLB).
Like Job, do you show mercy to others—even the ones who criticize and judge you? You can go through life as a judgmental person, or you can go through life as a merciful person. If you choose to condemn and judge, then you're going to make yourself and everyone around you miserable.
It’s your choice. You can be an agent of judgment in the world, or you can be an agent of mercy. When you choose mercy, life will be much more enjoyable for you and for the people around you.
Jesus says in the Beatitudes, “Happy are the kind and merciful” (Matthew 5:7 TLB). Do you want to be happy? Then be merciful.
Talk It Over
- How do you feel after you choose to condemn someone? Alternatively, how does it feel when you choose to show mercy instead, no matter how they may have wronged you?
- What does kindness have to do with mercy?
- Think of someone who has criticized you. Take a moment to pray for that person. Then take notice of how God blesses you for it.
This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.