Luke 6:36
Be you therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

What is it to be "merciful"? Like other virtues, this, too, has its imitations, worthless and spurious. There is a mercy current among men which is merely an outlet for energy, or the fashion of the day. There is a mercy, so called, which is in reality a luxury, a refined sort of self-indulgence. There is a sort of mercy which people call charity, which gives, but without discrimination or thought. But these, none of these, are mercifulness. No, nor, on the other hand, is it to be confused with pity, a feeling of compassion for the unfortunate; nor has it to do with merely deeds of mercy, acts of kindness. For mercifulness and mercy do not mean the same thing. Mercifulness is what we are and what we do. Mercy, as men count it, may be all outside, no heart in it, or may take its rise from wrong or unworthy motives; while mercifulness must go down to the inner springs of actions, not stop short of guiding principles, have its roots in sound and holy motives. It deals with the quality of the deed rather than the quantity; it examines the texture of which it is made, not the smoothness or bright shimmer; it asks not whether it glitters, but whether it is gold with the true ring.

1. True mercifulness is a characteristic of those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, and they alone will be merciful in God's way, seeking not to please themselves, but to do His will "who is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy."

2. True mercifulness is always guided by meekness. It is exercised towards those who have ill requited our kindness, and are undeserving of our mercy.

3. True mercifulness can only be felt by those who have learned to mourn their sin, and in repentance turned unto God, and so have a fellow feeling with those who sin, and long to rescue them.

4. True mercifulness has, as its earliest beginning, poverty of spirit, for only those who in humility know themselves aright will never despair of others, or tire of showing mercy to the undeserving.

(C. J. Ridgeway, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

WEB: Therefore be merciful, even as your Father is also merciful.

Man a Child of Mercy
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