Psalm 138:2: “I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your unfailing love and your faithfulness, for you have so exalted your solemn decree that it surpasses your fame.”

The Lord Almighty surpasses human expectations. He simply blows our mind. He loves us when there is nothing left to love, and He has our back when we have no backbone left; He takes our side when we are not on His side, and He is out on a rescue mission to save us when we are not even asking for His help.

Loving His enemies, the Lord gives mercy a new name. Call it “super-mercy” – nobody expects empathy for the enemy, but the truth is that the Lord cares about His creation, His love knows no bounds, and His sympathy includes opponents who hate Him. What does this mean for us? I think it means “watch and learn”.

Family is the perfect playing field to experiment with mercy. It is safe to say that all families have their issues. The fact that no human being is perfect translates into imperfect family relationships. Add divorce and remarriage into the equation and the family dynamics become even more interesting.

It is common to get hurt by close relatives. Family gatherings become painful to watch when certain family members have nothing to say to each other. Mercy neutralizes that, and it starts with me. I need to have mercy on myself. This may sound ridiculous at first, but if we are supposed to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, then we should also have mercy on our neighbor as we have mercy on ourselves.

When we are unable to forgive ourselves it is hard, if not impossible to forgive and let the other person off the hook. Being gracious with ourselves allows us to be gracious with others. It is easier to put ourselves in other people’s shoes when we have worked through our own issues. We stop judging people too harshly when we no longer beat ourselves up.

Family members won’t feel judged in our presence when we apply mercy. A merciful person literally becomes the safe zone in the family. Mercy actually has the capacity to heal broken relationships. The Lord knows that and He is super-merciful. Looking up to Him we can become inspired. His unfailing love and faithfulness can turn us into better people.

God exceeds all our expectations – and in a broken world His children turn around and do the same.

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