Mercy is the result of humility

Published 5:50 am Sunday, November 5, 2017

It’s easy to be suspicious and though it’s wrong, unfortunately it’s common to judge unfairly and display negative emotions toward others. If we could only remember that many people are going through some type of painful trial and difficulty which usually explains their unusual behavior. I am regularly involved with those who are struggling with serious problems and it changes your perspective when you know the circumstances. As Christians we are called to be a light that represents the nature of Jesus and this includes patience, mercy, long-suffering, forgiveness, and love. This is so that everyone can see Christ within us and hopefully inspire them to learn more about who He is. When we act ugly and rude, we are actually turning others away from the message of grace that we proclaim is the spiritual compass the lost world desperately needs.

I read a story a while back about a young stewardess that told about her experiences. She had always considered herself a happy and positive person and was so excited when she had been selected among many capable candidates. She wanted to help people and serve others and this unique opportunity seemed perfect. However, shortly after she began her new career, the glamorous imaginations turned to a disappointing reality as she realized she was hardly more than a waitress working 30,000 feet above the ground. Nonetheless, she continued trying to be positive but started to become more of an actor that went through the motions of faking a smile and constantly forcing a thank you to groups of people that were rude and harsh. She discovered over time that when someone was desperately calling out for her it was usually not an emergency but rather to complain because their coffee was cold.

One day she noticed a man boarding the plane that was carrying a black plastic garbage bag which is an automatic red flag. He placed the bag in the overhead and patted the closure softly. She was having a bad day and with being highly suspicious of what was inside the bag, she warned the crew to keep an eye on him. All of these negative thoughts were swirling inside her mind and had given her a hateful impression even though she knew nothing about the situation. As he was waiting in line for the bathroom she finally saw a perfect chance to pounce on him with a subtle interrogation about his intentions. He looked at her with tears in his eyes and said he had come to New York because his only son was a first responder at ground zero and had been killed when the towers collapsed. He had picked up his uniform which was so precious to him and it was in the plastic bag in the overhead bin. These are the wake-up calls to our conscience that remind us of what a vast difference there is between the way we see life and the way life really is. The mercy and compassion we demonstrate reveals more about us than what we say. “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall receive mercy” Matthew 5:7.

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Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky with his wife Cheryl, where he is a Christian author and community outreach chaplain.