who could use a cup of mercy?


{five minute friday: mercy}

There was a person who owed a great debt, far greater than their ability to pay, even in their total lifetime of working. The one to whom the debt was owed had power enough to severely punish this person until the great debt was fully paid. Instead mercy was extended. I do not know why, but it was. Mercy holds nothing back if the debt was paid, it was fully cancelled, just like that.

That same person, with a newly clean slate, then left and thought most would think they would be leaping for joy at the paid in full debt, instead they came to another person with an agenda. Taking hold of him by the neck, the released one shook and screamed asking for the debt that this fellow person owed him.

Though much had been forgiven and cancelled for the one, they still had a small debt owed to them. A debt that could barely compare to the one that they, themselves had been released from. Yet here they were choking it out of this poor sap who might could one day pay it back but hadn’t.

Clearly choking them was not going to pay it off.

Mercy is defined as compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.

I spent far too long being this merciless person. Having come to the Lord in surrender and being fully forgiven as 1 John 1:9 says. The One who had seen my darkest sin had fully covered it by His blood. Released. Complete mercy. Debt paid in full.

Yet I held the neck of my dear husband begging for the debt, that in my eyes, he owed me. He had wronged me. Never mind that I had wronged him as well. Two sinners in one marriage, it happens, often. We argue or, at best, disagree. Then we claim to forgive yet we carry the legal pad of wrongs tucked under our arm just waiting for the next infraction so that we might be quick to pounce and demand back payments.

I have done this by bringing up old infractions when we argue or “punishing” him with the silent treatment or not being the first to apologize.

I have withheld real, complete and total forgiveness from him and from others too. When the reality is that by the great mercy of God, I have been released from the eternal debt I could never repay.

I am drowning in mercy. So how is it I withhold mercy from others?

If we own an ocean of water, why be stingy with a cup of it?

Have you come to the point of surrendering yourself to the Lord, receiving mercy? Have you acknowledged your own need for forgiveness of your great debt of sin? Have you sought the only One, Jesus Christ, who has the power to offer you the mercy you need?

Then who are you still choking for the cup of water worth of debt? A parent, sibling, spouse, friend? They might actually owe you a debt. They probably did hurt you, wrong you, abandon you. But that is a mere cup of water in comparison with the ocean of mercy the Lord Jesus offers. What if we released that person to Him and allowed Him to handle the situation? What if we removed our hands from their neck and entrusted ourselves to the one who judges justly?

“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps…He continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:21-23)

How can we follow His merciful steps if we don’t know His Word? Drop your email below and I will send you a simple tool for getting in the Word for yourself that has worked for me. Tend: How to Hear the Gardener’s Voice

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27 thoughts on “who could use a cup of mercy?

  1. It takes conscious effort not to dredge up old wrongs when I have disagreements with my husband – but I’ve learnt from experience that ‘choking his neck’ as you put it helps neither of us. Freely we have been forgiven, freely we should forgive. Thank you for this post – a wonderful reminder to follow in Jesus’ steps!

    1. yes, it is a conscious effort. doesn’t it get easier though when we remember the mercy we have received?
      thank you for stopping by! 🙂

  2. We could all use a cup of mercy. All we have to do is hold open our hands and ask. How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure. Thanks for posting early, I’ll have this on my mind all day. 🙂

    1. Yes, we sure do! Grateful He drowns us in an ocean of mercy rather than just a cup. How much more should we be offering out a cup of mercy to all those in front of us today?
      Thanks for stopping by! ❤

  3. It is tough making that conscious effort at times but seeing the mercy of the cross puts it all in perspective. I think I need that picture in my no d today x

  4. WOW. Another beautiful story that demonstrates God’s mercy, love and compassion. What a beautiful story and how well you applied your message to our marriages. That is so true. Thank you. My blog is titled Be Merciful if you would like to read it. I do not tell s beautiful story like you just did…
    Terri D

  5. You carry “the legal pad of wrongs” and I carry an abacus. I feel I am offended, and another wooden ball slides over. Marriages are a great place to practice showing the kind of mercy you describe here. I should be able to forgive a debt a fraction of the size of the debt God has forgiven us. But it is hard, so I pray God helps me.

    Amie, FMF #11

    1. Amie, yes, good visual with the abacus and sliding those little wooden balls over. God is so merciful to offer us far more grace than we can ever imagine. Remembering that truth is what helps me release my man from my grip. IN learning to release him to God, my heart has found healing and our marriage has been restored. God is so faithful.

  6. I am so very thirsty,
    it’s a hot ol’ day,
    so I’ll have a cup of mercy
    and thus will be OK.
    So much I’ve been in the wrong,
    so much I’ve been cruel,
    so many times sang my own song,
    the ballad of a fool,
    but now my end’s approaching,
    and I must turn and say
    that with the dark encroaching
    I need that brighter day
    that God offered from the start
    to quench my thirst, and heal my heart.

  7. Wow. So good. The marital comparison, and this- “If we own an ocean of water, why be stingy with a cup of it?” #10

  8. “I am drowning in mercy. So how is it I withhold mercy from others?” Yes, yes, yes! It is so easy to hold past wrongs against people. I pray I never forget the abundant mercy God has shown towards me so that I will never forget to extend that mercy to others.


  9. So, so powerful Mariel! Love the illustration of an ocean and a cup. I will keep that image to help me see some things in my own life in a new way. Great post!

  10. Beautiful post, and thanks for being vulnerable and sharing your experience as well.
    Visiting from #26

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