*The following devotional will appear in my new book, Make a Difference: 365 World-Changing Devotions (2016).
In the face of hostility, Martin Luther King upheld mercy. He had every right to retaliate against those who hurled threats, insults, and physical harm. Yet he chose a different path, one that changed the trajectory of a powerful nation, not to mention the hearts of millions upon millions of people.
When you are in a position of power, when you are justified to dispense wrath, when you have the opportunity to absolutely let loose your fury, what would happen if you chose to withhold it? What if you extended a hand of grace and restoration instead? Mercy recognizes that God is in control, and it acknowledges that the person who deserves judgment is both a fellow child of God and in need of restoration.
Not everyone who is offered mercy accepts it or reorients to it. But someone else’s response is not your responsibility. Mercy doesn’t dictate a person’s future; it simply opens it up.
God blesses those who are merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Lord Jesus, give me your authority to forgive and offer a hope to those who need it. Amen.
Gut check. Whom do you judge too easily? Who needs another chance today?