Martin Wiles: Love Shows Mercy
Love is patient and kind.~1 Corinthians 13:4 NLT
The time for the annual adventure had arrived—and I dreaded it.
In my younger years, Dad’s present of choice for my mom on Christmas and her birthday was a dress. I’m not quite sure what made him think I’d like to accompany him on these excursions. But when I reached my middle school years, he invited me along—well, not really invited. He told me I was going. I don’t remember whether I fussed or balked, but it would have done no good.
Of all days for Dad to search for Mom’s dress, he chose Saturday. The only day I had to do nothing—since he preached and going to church filled our Sundays. Dad was also a perfectionist, like Mom. Not any dress would do. It had to be the perfect one—and we never found it at the first store we visited.
I’m not sure whether Dad’s persnicketiness caused him to take half a day to pick out a dress or whether he knew how particular Mom was. All I know is that this middle school boy spent half a day twice each year helping his dad pick out a dress for his mom. A dress she may not have liked—and one she just might have taken back, hurting Dad’s feelings in the process.
But good ole Dad knew on what side his bread was buttered. Mom had spoiled him from the beginning . . . and he loved it and wanted it to continue. So, he shopped, and so did I.
Dad did good all his life for my mom, up until the day he died in an Atlanta, Georgia, hospital. Paul told the early believers to do the same thing. And the command continues to the present.
Paul summarized this mercy thing succinctly:
Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.~Galatians 6:10 NLT
When we love, we can’t help but do good—to show mercy. Often, those we show mercy to face dire straits. We understand we could be in a similar position. We long to show mercy. Love propels us to act in the best interest of others.
True love monitors its motives. Dad had no ulterior reasons. He loved Mom from the moment he saw her and wanted to spend his life with her. Sure, she pampered him, but that wasn’t why he performed his acts of love. Loving with the wrong motives always leads to disaster.
Love also expects nothing in return. Mom and Dad bought each other special day presents because they loved each other, but neither expected anything in return. God loves us, regardless of how we respond to Him, and He wants us to do the same for others—even our enemies.
Share how your love for others can lead you to merciful acts.
Father God, guide us to the acts of love You would have us to do. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2022: Love Shows Mercy: Martin Wiles: All Rights Reserved