Archive for March 1st, 2008

To Be Like God

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Today’s scripture: Luke 6:36 (ESV - text and audio) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Robert Ferguson):

My grandmother used to tell me to be careful how I treated others, you never know whose arms you may fall into one day. I have tried to live by this little adage, but I must admit, it continues to be a challenge.

When I first started to meditate on this passage, my mind immediately went to co-workers who challenge my attempts to show mercy. Whether it’s the 7:00 am bright-eyed lady who is ready to go first thing in the morning, or the guy who has to ask a thousand more questions during an organizational meeting that has already passed the three-hour mark, I am challenged at work to show mercy as God has shown to me.

Recently I have had a slew of car maintenance issues. If you have ever had to deal with car dealership mechanics over expensive car repairs, I am sure you will agree with me that it is difficult to show mercy when presented with a repair bill that rivals the national debt. I must admit my attitude was far from merciful and Christian as I reluctantly laid my credit card down on the service desk.

Every day we have opportunities to show mercy as God has shown us. Some situations are just uncomfortable and challenging to our own will. Others are challenging because the recipient may not, as we see it, deserve our mercy. Someone who offends us, disrespects us or — say it isn’t so — trespasses against us, may deserve to feel a little bit of our anger or displeasure.

It is during these times when we are called to model and reflect the love, grace, and mercy that God has shown each of us. In our reading today we learn that it is not of God to constantly focus on what others have done or are doing to us. It is much better to focus on what God has done for every one of us. When we forget the many mercies and blessings we receive, brand new each day, it is reflected in how we treat others and how we respond to others.

Let us remember that we do not deserve God’s mercy. We never could do anything that would prove us worthy of the love of God. Except for the soul-saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we would all be eternally separated from God and unable to receive forgiveness or grace.

So, we thank God today for showing mercy to us — and we’ll show that gratitude by the way we show mercy to the others we come in contact with everyday. In some very small way, we can be like God!

Thought for the day: God, with everyone I encounter today, help me to show mercy. Help me to be like You!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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