Try Mercy

By Marjorie Foerster Eddington

Have you ever wished for a do-over, a second (or maybe ninth) chance? Have you ever yearned for kindness and compassion? Or have you ever seen anyone else who desperately needs mercy?

With social media being so major, everyone knows everything about everybody, even the details we don’t really need or want to know. So teens are constantly comparing themselves to others, and consequently, feel less than. Plus, there are people who use social media to bully others.

That’s why mercy is so essential.

  • Mercy is giving people second chances when they don’t deserve them.
  • Mercy is treating people with kindness.
  • Mercy is expressing compassion, reaching out to others with a helping hand.
  • Mercy, in the Sermon on the Mount, also means treating others the way God treats us all.

With this fifth beatitude, Jesus really highlights the importance of mercy: “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matt 5:7). Blessed means complete happiness. So we are completely happy when we treat others the way God treats us—with infinite mercy. Wow!

What does this look like in a teen’s life?

Let’s take school. I have a friend who’s a senior in high school. He knows what it’s like to be new to a school or group. When he sees someone being made fun of or being left out, he reaches out and includes him or her. He shows kindness, compassion.

Just think about the impact of a single act of kindness. Not only does it make those who are excluded, ridiculed, or bullied feel better or hopeful, it also sets an example for others. It shows people what is possible, how they can act differently—mercifully.

So let’s be merciful:

  • Think of at least five ways you can be merciful to others at school, at home, or at your other activities.
  • Actively look for people who are on the outside and want to feel included, appreciated, even simply seen.
  • Go out and express mercy.

You’ll feel the happiness that comes from sharing God’s love and mercy with others. That’s a happiness that’s real!