Mercy and Kindness
30 September 2016
Reading: Zechariah 7-9; Luke 13
9 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: Judge fairly and honestly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. 10 Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and poor people. And do not scheme against each other.” (Zechariah 7:9-10 NLT)
The religious people were coming to Zechariah and the other prophets with questions about their traditional religious practices. Zechariah told them that the really important thing was not the details of their fasts and feasts, but the condition of their hearts in relation to God and the way they lived each day in relation to other people. Zechariah said God wants you to:
• Be fair and honest.
• Show mercy and kindness.
• Protect widows, orphans, foreigners, and poor people.
• Don’t plot and scheme against others for your own benefit.
• Tell the truth – the plain and simple truth!
• Live like that and God will be pleased.
Recently, I was talking with a friend about upper-level management in the corporate workplace. My friend expressed his commitment to create a culture within his company that values people for more than just their performance and production, helps each one develop to their full potential, values relationships and works to keep them healthy, and values both doing the right things and doing things right.
This is a season for me to think deeply about what really matters. I’m involved with churches that worship in many different ways—music styles, what goes on in their meetings, the kind of preaching and teaching, other church activities—there’s such a variety! God is pleased with any and all of it if it represents lives that show honesty, kindness and mercy, care for the disadvantaged, concern for those on the outside, and right relationships. That’s the measure I’m putting up against my own life.
Father, Please help me to value the things you value, to measure the right things and to measure things right to determine how I’m doing in your eyes. Amen.
O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8 NLT)