“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
What is it to be merciful? The Greek word used here is eleéō. It means to have pity or show mercy as it aligns with God’s truth. It is to act on God’s terms in His covenant. (Strong's). Merriam-Webster’s defines merciful as treating people with kindness and forgiveness, not cruel or harsh, and giving relief from suffering.
Compassion for another person in such a way that you are able to forgive their flaws and be kind to them is what being merciful is. And being merciful is not always so easy. It is something we must choose to do deliberately. It is not a natural trait, but it is a characteristic of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23). It is one we can exercise because God is in us and we are operating in His covenant. It is also a quality Jesus expects us to implement. In Matthew chapter 6:14-15 Jesus said,
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
And what right do we have not to forgive people? What right do we have not to be merciful? Ephesians 4:30-32 says,
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Consider that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23). And the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23). We deserve death. In fact before we came to Christ, we were dead. Ephesians 2:4-5 reads,
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—“
We deserve death. We deserve not to have a relationship with God. But He is rich in mercy. He chose to forgive us and not give us death. By His grace, He gave us new life and a relationship with Him.
When you elect to forgive others and show them kindness you are opting happiness. You are forgiven, God decided not to make you pay for your sins. He paid for them instead. He chooses not to bring to mind your sin any longer. He asks the same of you. God was merciful to you. He has a never-ending supply of mercy. Be merciful and God shows you mercy. All those mistakes you make, God forgives them.
Deciding to forgive others, showing them kindness and compassion, letting go of the bitterness and anger over the wrongs done to you allows you to be happy. Emptying yourself of the right to hold onto the injuries inflicted on you makes room for the Spirit. He makes it possible for you to be joyful, peaceful, and merciful.
Strong's. (1987). 1653. eleeó. Retrieved from Biblehub; Strong's Concordance: http://biblehub.com/greek/1653.htm