Do You Want to Be Happy? Choose Mercy
by Rick Warren — January 18, 2021
From A Faith That Works When Life Doesn’t
“A merciful person helps himself, but a cruel person hurts himself.”
Proverbs 11:17 (GW)
Proverbs 11:17 says, “A merciful person helps himself, but a cruel person hurts himself” (GW). That’s another one of those universal principles: You get what you sow in life.
The greatest example of this in the Bible is the story of Job, who lost literally everything—his health, family, job, and wealth. His friends came to him in his greatest hour of need. But did they show him mercy? No! They judged, criticized, and second guessed him. They kept telling him what he’d done wrong. “It’s your own fault,” they said.
The great turnaround in Job’s life occurred not when he thought about himself but when he mercifully prayed for the people who were criticizing him: “When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his wealth and happiness! In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before!” (Job 42:10 TLB).
Do you too show mercy to others—even the ones who criticize and judge you? You can go through life as a judgmental person, or you can go through life as a merciful person. If you choose to condemn and judge, then you’re going to make yourself and everyone around you miserable.
It’s your choice. You can be an agent of judgment in the world, or you can be an agent of mercy. When you choose mercy, life will be a whole lot more enjoyable for you and for the people around you.
Jesus says in the Beatitudes, “Happy are the kind and merciful” (Matthew 5:7 TLB). Do you want to be happy? Then be merciful.
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