Mercy and truth should be a part of our everyday living. We really do not think about the power that is in these two principles for life, but they are what determine favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
Proverbs 3:3-4 (KJV)
3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
Proverbs is a book of principles, not promises. If you implement them, you will receive the benefits of them.
In these verses we see that mercy and truth are an act of the will, which the word “let” implies to us. These principles are easier said than done; but they can be done. We need to renew our minds to these principles to the point that they become a natural part of our lives.
One of the attributes of “mercy” is compassion. So, we could read this verse this way, “Let not compassion and truth forsake thee”. Proverbs 3:3 Message Version “Don’t lose your grip on love and loyalty…” We can easily forget these principles at the moment we take offense for some wrong done to us.
This is why Psalm 119:165 (KJV) says,
165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
What is directly connected to “mercy” is love and forgiveness.
Paul states in 1 Corinthians 13:5 (KJV)
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.
The last part of that verse says that love “thinkethno evil” and the Amplified says it this way, “It takes no account of the evil done to it (it pays no attention to a suffered wrong).”
Then, Paul further states in verses 7, “believes all things”, and the Amplified says, “is ever ready to believe the best of every person”.
Wow! That is powerful. Jesus addressed this issue with the Peter in Matthew 18:21-22 (KJV)
21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Do the math, 7 X 70 = 490 that would mean that we are forgiving that sin or offense 490 times. This would be classified as “mercy”.
Let’s take a look at this same account from Luke’s perspective; he gives a little more detail.
Luke 17:1-6 (KJV)
1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
What Jesus is saying is that He has already equipped us with the amount of faith to be able to walk in forgiveness and live by the principle of mercy and truth.
The subject is forgiveness, but not just forgiveness; but a forgiveness that requires faith to be the strength for doing so. This type of forgiveness is called “mercy”.
Love must by the motivating force behind forgiveness. Love and forgiveness equals’ mercy. Writing these two principles of “Mercy and Truth” on the table of our hearts is more than just knowing this, but actually wearing these two principles; allowing for them to become a part of our daily attire.
Where does truth come in? Jesus said in John 14:6 (KJV)
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Then in John 1:14 (KJV)
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Truth is liberating. When it is lived with grace, it ministers to those who are willing to receive it. Jesus reflected the glory of God by being full of grace and truth.
When we learn to live like Jesus did while He was here on the earth, we will impact people’s lives, just as He did.
When love and forgiveness are the motives to what you do for others, the “Golden Rule” becomes active.
Matthew 7:12 (KJV) 12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Ed Cole stated, “we judge others by what they do, and ourselves by our intention”.
That is true, in many cases we do things that could be offensive, but justify our action by our intention. We could say or do something that is hurtful and justify the action by stating, “that is not what I meant to say or do”, even though what I “did” was hurtful.
We must not allow ourselves to forsake “mercy and truth”. If we place this on the “tables of our heart”, and purpose to allow for “mercy and truth” to be how we live our lives toward others, this is when Proverbs 3:4 kicks in, we will find favor and good understanding with God and men.
Favor and good understanding is important for us to succeed in life. If we are to live a life of blessing, we must allow for mercy and truth to be a part of our everyday life.
Now, go do the word!