Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c) 2017 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
An ex remarries. An adult child refuses to visit. Friends withdraw when you struggle with a chronic illness. Someone hurts your body. You are treated like a nobody at work. No one believes your story. On and on the possibilities for bitterness go.
“Love mercy” is one of the tenets of right living mentioned in the Bible. Sure, it feels good to forgive someone and to move on, but love mercy? I would rather love being the better person in a situation. Although it is easy to see how much mercy people and God have extended to me, somehow humility is not the automatic go-to in the face of maltreatment or perceived betrayal.
Love mercy? When I love something or someone, that emotion is noticed in the moment. I don’t have to conjure up good feelings later. I pursue what I love, search for it, and am happiest when the object of that love is near.
Mercy Heals Us Emotionally
I need more to go on than mercy is a good idea. The following is a list of mercy’s characteristics I admire and can choose to proactively love with all my heart.
- It is beautiful watching other people succeed. Whether a child matures or a thief turns generous, we like happy endings. We cheer on fighters who overcome. Extending mercy is a powerful way to affect someone for the better. Watching that is cool.
- Mercy brings healthy humility, which in turn heals the merciful person. It exchanges the need for revenge and becomes gratitude. Humility recognizes that imperfections make us all human. I may not like the way someone treats me, but humility asks, have I treated anyone this way? Mercy’s attitude is pleasant to feel.
- Mercy is a picture of God in the world. Soulless and evil are terms we use to describe those who take advantage of others without a conscience. Mercy is proof that evil does not rule the earth. We are not helpless when we choose mercy. Mercy is uniquely capable of overcoming evil.
Love mercy? More I think about it, the more attractive it becomes. Its loveliness is worth pursuing. If I want to see it in action, it will have to come from me.
Today’s Helpful Word
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.
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NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.