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For Reading and Meditation:     Proverbs 11:16-31

Those who know how to be merciful are men and women to be envied. They get back what they give. Psychologists are always pointing out that our attitudes and emotions are contagious. Scripture puts the same truth in these words: "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly" (Proverbs 18:24, AV). And what's more, a merciful attitude can encourage others to themselves be merciful. People who are merciful are not so apt to arouse harsh feelings or awaken enmities - they receive what they give. Within the act of mercy is the power to effect change. When you demonstrate mercy toward someone, it calls forth the same feeling tones from the other person, and there will be an exchange that will reinforce the importance of the quality of mercy in your own spirit. So you do not lose anything, for they, in turn, give you something of themselves that can enrich your life. It does not always happen, of course, that the demonstration of mercy evokes a positive response in others, but whether it does or not, you are all the better for being merciful. The pay-off is in you. Have you noticed how a person with this quality always seems to have good personal relationships? And when he or she has need of mercy from others, then it is instantly forthcoming - for as we give, so shall we receive. And not only do they enjoy good personal relationships - they enjoy (other things being equal) good physical health. The right thing morally is always the healthy thing physically. For morality is one - whether it is written in our tissues, or whether it is written in the Testaments.

Gracious Father, I am finding Your way amid my own ways. Daily, hourly, it is being disclosed before my astonished gaze. Help me to follow Your way, Your attitudes and Your lifestyle. For all other ways defeat me. Yours develops me. Amen.

Questions to Consider
  • What was Jesus teaching in this parable?
  • How is this sometimes a picture of us?

Bible Verses: Proverbs 11:16-31Proverbs 18:24Matthew 18:23-35Matthew 6:15James 2:13

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