I’ve been thinking more about Tom’s email question from yesterday. I’ve been thinking about what mercy is. My personal definition of mercy is having the power, ability or authority to take harsh action, but choosing not to. When I consider what revenge is, not seeking it is, to me, an act of mercy. I’m not saying that there is anything wonderfully noble in not seeking revenge. But at it’s base, it is an act of mercy.
By definition, we do not deserve mercy. Mercy is a gift from those who are within their rights to punish us for our misdeeds.
There are times when we are to take action against those who have wronged us. Then there are times we show mercy and let it go. In all things, we are to have a forgiving spirit. It will take someone smarter and wiser than I to spell out how and when to do all that. All I know is that in my experience, I’ve just known in my heart when it’s time to fight back, and when it’s been time to simply let it go. That same smart person will also have to explain how to have a forgiving spirit when you’re in the process of fighting back.
I haven’t reached that level in my education just yet. If I figure it out, I’ll be sure to pass it along.
In the meantime, I’m at the revenge vs. justice chapter of the class. It’s been a revelation of sorts, and it’s been valuable to me. Thank God we’re never too old to learn like little children.