It’s been about two weeks since God found me, spoke with me and liberated me. Already, I am growing. The Episcopal Priest Matt Gunter says, ” If following Jesus isn’t making you more merciful, it might not be Jesus you are following.”
Tonight, while laying down to rest a bit, I reflected upon evildoers. Now, I’m not going to point out who exactly is an evildoer and who isn’t. That’s really not my place. But a vision something like what the Apostle Paul describes came to mind where people were living in horrible ways.
My response was to be overcome with mercy.
I found Gunter’s post on being merciful when I was trying, after being overcome with mercy, to find a philosophy paper by Dr. Rico Vitz titled “What is a Merciful Heart?” I wanted to see what he said on the matter.
For me, knowing what I know from my experience with God, He showed mercy on me because I had been suffering terribly for quite a long time. I know this because God told me He came to be because I had been suffering. I bawled when He told me this. I wept because God knew my suffering very well and relieved it.
No matter how “happy” some people claim to be and appear to be, many are suffering like I was. Even evildoers. Perhaps especially evildoers. While the first instinct may be to loathe and condemn those people, I think mercy is the proper response.
From a Biblical point of view, we are all mired in sin. It’s everywhere, really, and it makes us suffer in the end. In my personal experience, sin isn’t necessarily something one does. In my view, there’s a spiritual realm where evil does indeed exist. For me, I was chained and in bondage. God freed me.
If God could do that for me, I thought, how much could I spare for others? My suffering has been torment. Sheer and utter torment. But it was possibly not the worst thing in the world. Others may be suffering even more. Thus, I was overwhelmed with mercy for others.
When we are asked to pray for our enemies, then, it may not be as it seems on the surface. It might not be a sheepish, passive and pacifistic response. It may be to show mercy on them the way God has mercy for us.
God is a great liberator. I pray He has mercy for the entire world for He has relieved me from incredible suffering and for that I am eternally thankful.