To Love Mercy

“What can we bring to the Lord? What kind of offerings should we give him? Should we bow before God with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins? No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy,  and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:6-8 NLT).

I shared yesterday I’m trying to get into the habit of asking myself questions during my personal times with God, to better challenge myself in growing closer to Him, so I don’t become complacent in my relationship with Him.

It’s easy for me to read the Old Testament prophets and think of their applications to the nation of Israel, or to meditate on the God who restores. (All well and good, by the way).  But how do I challenge myself to apply their messages in my life?

I was convicted by the verses above, particularly the phrase “to love mercy.” The Lord requires me to love mercy.  He says it’s good.  And I had to ask myself: “Do I love mercy?”

Mercy.  The withholding of the deserved in favor of that which is not deserved (grace).

Honestly, I’m drawn to the idea of revenge.  Some of my favorite phrases are “what goes around comes around” and “stickin’ it to the man.”  You get the picture.  Every Monday I take an hour to watch one of my favorite shows, where the heroine is slowly destroying a family that destroyed hers many years ago.  There is something deeply satisfying as she takes them out, one by one. (Except for the past few weeks, when her plan seems to be backfiring).  I even deal with the concept of revenge in some of my own comedic work: getting back at people is great fodder for comedy.  I’ve never taken a serious look at the implications of revenge in my creative work, although I’ll probably have to soon.

In real life, though, I’m not a vengeful person. I don’t plot anyone’s takedown when they hurt me or anything like that.  In fact, I am more likely to choose mercy in real life situations.  But do I love it?

“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

I think part of the reason a lot of my comedy writing has revenge/payback at its core is because it IS my passive way of exacting vengeance on the people who have wronged me.  They’d never know it, but I know, and God most certainly knows. And I think it’s okay, because a) it’s fiction and b) they’ll never know.

I don’t love mercy; at least, not yet. I’m sure I will get there.

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