I’ll never forget an experience that I had during my first year of working in the church. Every Tuesday at noon we held a “Pastor’s Prayer” time where people would come and pray with the pastors for requests that were shared by the church family. One dear, old saint named Mary joined us whenever she could, and it was such a privilege to pray with her. Her husband and she had been missionaries in Colombia, and then as a widow in her eighties, she served as an encouragement to many. During one particular Tuesday prayer time, Mary began praying this verse from James – that she didn’t want God’s judgment but that she needed His mercy. Perhaps one of the saintliest women I’ve ever known, it was hard to believe that Mary, too, needed God’s mercy. And yet her praying and the movement of the Spirit led her to tears as she realized her utter dependence on the Lord’s mercy. It’s true for all of us – we all need mercy… which is why we need to extend mercy to others. The one who refuses to extend mercy to another has failed to accept the mercy that God has offered to him or her. Is there anyone in your life to whom you need to extend mercy? Don’t delay, but give it generously just as our heavenly Father has so generously given it to us.
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Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.