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“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.” -God

So often, I go to God in prayer essentially to barter.  “God, I will stop doing ___ or give up this ___, if you will protect me from ___or provide me with ___ & _____.”

I think we have all prayed a similar prayer in one way or another.  We offer these sacrifices in exchange for God’s blessings.  And yet our father does something so revolutionary.  Instead of asking for our sacrifices and engaging in our bartering, he simply tells us to show mercy.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. -Matthew 5:7

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.  -Luke 6:36

By being merciful, we are recognizing God as the source of all life and love.  We show mercy to a neighbor who has wronged us and do it in the name of the father.  Mercy is not a quality of this world.  A lion doesn’t chase down a gazelle, tackle it, then growl and say, “Ehh, nevermind, I won’t eat you…get on your way.”  When we are merciful, we are putting ourselves aside and allowing God’s image to be visible to the one being shown mercy.

That is, if we show true mercy.  Sometimes we forgive and show mercy, but expect something in return.  “I’ll forgive you this time, but if I upset you next week, you can’t get mad because I let this thing go this week.”

May we learn to stop trying to barter our sacrifices with God and learn to cultivate the fruit of mercy.

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One Comment

  1. I couldn’t agree more. The verse Hosea 6:6 was something I wanted to write about but you captured the point beautiful. Be faithful.


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