Words from the Heart for Saturday April 18th, 2020
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Matthew 5:7 (KJV)
Back in 2018, as their son was due to be sentenced, the parents of a Canadian man convicted of plotting ISIS attacks against busy New York City landmarks, pleaded for mercy. They said their son was a mentally ill teenager and didn’t deserve to spend the rest of his life in prison, however horrible his crimes. Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, 20, of Mississauga, Ont., pleaded guilty in October 2016 to conspiring with ISIS operatives in the failed plan to bomb Times Square and the city’s subway system.
The world teaches that revenge is sweet. In Matthew 5:7 Jesus teaches, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” There is no greater contrast between the principles of the world and the principles of the Kingdom of heaven. Think about the implications of this. The sweetness of revenge does not last long, and is followed by more retaliation, more violence, more heartbreak. Just ask the Hatfields and the McCoys. Their infamous feud lasted twelve years and led to thirteen deaths. All over a stolen pig. There was nothing sweet about any of that revenge. Contrast that to the results of mercy. When we offer forgiveness to those who have wronged us, we experience peace in our hearts and often there is the result of healed relationships and deepened friendship. Families are brought back together and peace breaks out. Those of us who have experienced the mercy of Christ, who have been brought back into relationship with our Heavenly Father because of what Jesus did for us on the Cross, are called to offer that same mercy, that same forgiveness, to those who have wronged us. The God who has shown us mercy will give us all we need to offer that mercy to others.
These have been words from the heart.