He who follows righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness and honor.
Several months ago I started reading The book of Mark. I wanted to study more about Jesus as the Servant. I know how I define a life of service, I wanted to learn how Jesus lived as a Servant. I've always found it a curious thing that Mark focused on that aspect of Jesus' life.
In addition to this, I've been focusing on kindness this year. I often find I'm not kind. I have a mean streak in me. Yet, I'm very attracted to kind people and God has been showing me this is an area He wants to sanctify in my life.
As I read the above Proverb I was curious what the word mercy meant in the Hebrew. So, I opened the Blue Letter bible app on my phone to look at its original meaning.
This word means kindness.
Then the Holy Spirit made a connection in my brain with Jesus the Servant.
Mercy is to give kindness where kindness is NOT due. Jesus served mankind in giving us mercy. He healed, supplied needs in abundance, fed, taught truth, and ultimately died for our souls. He served us with kindness...mercy. He served the Father by listening to Him, seeking Him and being obedient to all the Father desired.
I love the Word. I love how I sought truth in the book of Mark and God revealed the truth I was seeking in Proverbs.
What I'm learning is serving others is best done with mercy/kindness. Kindness that originates from the heart. Kindness that speaks truth with love when it isn't popular. Kindness that sacrifices myself or my goods for the benefit others. Kindness shown to the Father in being obedient to Him when it isn't popular because ultimately, it serves those who are watching me, to point them to Jesus. Kindness is forgiving others in the midst of the pain they cause.
For some kindness is knit within them, for others (such as myself), I have to work hard at it. This is what makes us unique and special. It is why we need each other to fill our gaps, of which I have many.
Some people have kindness knit in them-others have to work at it. Some are kind without thinking about it, others have to really put effort into it.
Ultimately, I've come to understand living the fruits of the Spirit are similar to getting good grades in school. Some of us never study and get straight A's, while others of us study, study, study and get C's. I'll keep studying so on the day I see the Lord I will hear, "Well done good and faithful servant."