Ok… Now, lets read today’s verses, and then we will take a closer look at them:
3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
There are so many verses in the Bible that talk about having "mercy." The online dictionary gives these definitions: mercy – 1. leniency and compassion shown toward offenders by a person or agency charged with administering justice; 2. a disposition to be kind and forgiving; 3. the feeling that motivates compassion 4. alleviation of distress; showing great kindness toward the distressed.
The Bible tells us that God has mercy on us, and that we should have mercy toward those around us. If we are Christians (trying to be Christ-like) then being merciful should be becoming a way of life for us. If we are in authority over others at work or at home, we should show leniency and compassion whenever it is not detrimental to the growth of the other person.
Sometimes, we are more merciful by disciplining than by “letting it go…” and not letting the person learn from their mistake. This is where weighing the truth and using wisdom (say from looking at the surrounding circumstances very carefully) is so often needed. Snap judgments to often lead to the need for us to apologize to God and to those that were hurt by them.
Our overall mindset should be one of kindness and forgiveness, remembering how much we have been forgiven through Christ’s sacrifice for us. By always keeping this in mind, we will have “the feeling that motivates compassion” toward others that we come into contact with as we travel through this life. Being “compassionate” means that we will “show kindness toward the distressed” and try to help them out of their problems.
True mercy DOES hinge on truth. They go together. Verse 3 says that these two should be “bound around our neck.” To me, I picture them as being hung like a necklace… a piece of adornment and beauty in a person’s life that shows what is written “on the tablet of your heart.” Mercy and truth should be what MOTIVATES us to do the good “works” that are a witness to the fact that God’s love is IN and A PART of our hearts.
We should also remember that Jesus said “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” I would really want God to show those attributes of mercy to me in my life.
Verse 4 tells us that both men AND GOD will see us with “favor and high esteem,” when we live a life that demonstrates mercy that is based on truth. The dictionary gives these definitions for esteem - 1. the condition of being honored; 2. an attitude of admiration; 3. a feeling of delighted approval and liking. Wouldn’t you want other people, and MOST importantly, God, to look on you with a “feeling of delighted approval and liking…” for what you are doing? I know I would!