The Quality Of Mercy Is Not Strained

The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed:It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest. — William Shakespeare,  The Merchant of Venice, Act 4, Scene 1
I read recently a reminder of what I know but often forget — One can never earn or deserve mercy. By it’s definition mercy is undeserved and can’t be earned.
If we act in a certain way to deserve leniency and our punishment is moderated, then that is justice not mercy.
God sets the example for us all — for mercy and forgiveness is only his to bestow. We have no claim to God’s mercy, yet he gives it out like democrats are told to vote: early and often. 
When we extend true mercy to our neighbors we follow in God’s footsteps and prove ourselves to be his children.
I fear that the virtue we call mercy has fallen in to disfavor in our communities, country, and our justice system. We seldom extend mercy to those who have failed or make a mistake, and then only when they do something to “earn our mercy,” but as we know such is not mercy but justice.
During this lent and during your prayers give thought and discussion to one of the greatest of all virtues — mercy.
As we ask God to be merciful, may we also ask God to show us where we can be merciful, as well.

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of the United States, is an author and lecturer. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, and A Game Of Inches, are published by Beaufort Books and are available online, in your local bookstore, or you can order autographed copies at When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps Won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

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