Day 18: The Wisdom We Need Is Full of Mercy - 31 Days: Marriage Devotionals


Scripture Focus: But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. James 3:17


A few years ago we took a class in spiritual formation that was offered at a nearby seminary. We especially valued the fact that the seminary came from a different tradition than our own; a tradition that included liturgy, a more formal type of church service, and many established rituals that we had never experienced.


We love our own tradition and our own church! We weren’t shopping around for a new way of thinking about worship or a new theological framework. Instead, we wanted to learn about going deeper with God. We valued the chance to gain key insights from what Richard Foster would describe as one of the other “streams” of Christianity.


Among the practices we heard about during the class was reciting a simple prayer that goes something like this: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Without buying into the entire theological framework there, both of us were drawn to the posture or the approach of this prayer which is humble and penitent. We loved the humility and grace of asking Christ for His mercy.


All of us need mercy. Those of us who are married need a lot of it! We need mercy from God, for the many ways we fall short of being a good husband or wife. We need mercy from our life partner, who experiences our failures and faults every day. Where would any of us be without mercy? If we truly received what we deserved, many of us would be divorced or abandoned. All of us would be without the hope of heaven.


If we are truly wise, we realize that we need mercy from God and from others. If we are truly wise we freely and easily grant mercy to others, and especially to the spouse who shares our home. Blessed are those who give and receive mercy!


For your personal reflection:

  • What if, every day and without exception, I received what I deserved?
  • What if every mistake I made was immediately punished?
  • What if every time I fell short of being perfect, I lost my job, my marriage, or my family? The truth is this: I need mercy! I need mercy from God and from others.

Prayer: Lord, I am coming to You today to thank You for your mercy! I also want to ask You to help me be wise. I want to be wise enough to show mercy to others. I want to give mercy to my husband or wife, because I sure need to receive it.

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