Is is possible that prior to being merciful then obtaining mercy there is a prerequisite glimmer of light that we are personally in need of mercy? When I was young I think this being in need of mercy was a rather odd concept. Oh, I was familiar with the "needs forgiveness" part of the Bible, but even forgiveness seemed foreign to me when I looked at the great wrongs in the world and my strong record of no murder, no robbery, no kidnapping, no genocide....
So I think there is a lot of vulnerability for us little human beans. We either fear on one side that we are too far down the slippery slope of unproductive living to be of any interest to God on one side, or on the other side are so certain our comparative wrongs are too small to concern God who surely sees us as the spiffy individuals we pride our selves on being.
But both of these misconceptions rely on the same faulty idea that it is all about us. Once we realize that it is all about God and that it is His Work of loving, healing, redeeming, reconciling, and opening our hearts to the purpose for which we were created, then the whole comparing nonsense can stop.
(1) We begin to understand that we need mercy in order to get our eyes off "other people" and our focus away from justifying ourselves or beating our selves up.
(2) As we begin to experience the abundant Grace of God, we begin to feel love and joy and a healthy gratitude for the gifts of the Spirit which colors our willingness to offer kindness to others without worrying about the state of their worthiness, which then manifest as mercy.
(3) Therefore by showing mercy and unconditional love we open a spigot to be a conduit for God's Love flowing through us and among us. The more we love, the more love God pours into us and, through us, into a desperately needy world. It is such a grand and amazing and grace-filled plan.
Oh Loving and Eternal God, thank You for loving me and teaching me to love more like You do. Thank you that love never runs out, never slows down, never fails us no matter how many others we love, or how much we love them each and all. Please don't let me become distracted or complacent about being Your hands and feet, loving your people and embracing an ever deepening relationship with You. AMEN