Do you know how William Shakespeare defined “mercy?  


                                                         The ‘mercy’ speech from

The Merchant of Venice.

The quality of mercy is not strained.  It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven on the place beneath.  It is twice blessed;  It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

It is mightiest in the mightiest.  It becomes the throned monarch better than his crown; His sceptre shows the force of temporal power, The attribute to awe and majesty, Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings. 

But, mercy is above the sceptred sway; It is enthrone in the hearts of kings.  It is an attribute to God himself; and earthly power doth then show likest God’s When mercy seasons justice.           Act IV, Scene 2.


Mercy is one of the attributes of God which we may demonstrate.

What does the Bible say about mercy? 

Matt 5:7  “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.” Mercy here can be defined as one showing “active pity.”  We can be merciful to others as the good Samaritan did in Luke 10:37.

Psalm 51:1 tells us it is because of God’s mercy that our sins are forgiven. 

In Luke 1:50 God’s mercy is bestowed upon those who fear (awe) Him.

Mark 5:19b.  shows that we should proclaim Christ’s mercy toward us.

Because of God’s mercy, He allows us to serve others (2 Cor. 4:1) through our various gifts. And, by His mercy we can remain faithful.  Mercy is one of the spiritual gifts, Romans 12:8.  It is showing kindness and caring for someone who is having physical, emotional or spiritual difficulties.  (It is different from exhortation which is more like kick you in the seat of your pants and get you doing what you know you should be doing.)  Mercy has been defined as “not getting what you should deserve.”  Because Christ has shown us mercy, we should show mercy to others. 

Food for Thought

How did you react to the mercy speech from The Merchant of Venice?                                         Have you shown mercy to someone recently?                                                                            What are your Spiritual gifts?  (There are several published Spiritual Gifts tests; if you do not know how God has gifted you, ask a staff member for a copy of a test, or check out the Internet.)