I am in the middle of reading the book The Shack. It is one of those books that you can't put down. I have been staying awake until midnight reading it for the last few nights and even then, I want to keep reading! God is speaking so clearly to me through this book, but in one area in particular: His incredible, unmeasurable, beyond any comprehension, deep and abiding love for you and me. With His love comes His almost unrealistic mercy for us.
In our culture, we seem to demand restitution or punishment from those who offend or harm us. But this is not the attitude we see in Jesus, whose life was a continuous manifestation of the mercy of God.
The Pharisees wanted to stone the woman who was caught in adultery, but Jesus, in mercy, pardoned her. When He saw the multitudes, compassions moved Him to heal them, feed them and teach them.
If you had seen Jesus, you had seen the Father. And God always acts in mercy, because He is merciful. Even when Jesus hung on the cross, listening to the jeers from the crowd, cried out in mercy, "Father, forgive them." How important is for us to see this? Because Matthew 5:7 says, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy."
So unless we are merciful, we will not receive mercy. And if we are going to be merciful, we must forgive others because mercy meets the need of forgiveness. Mercy and forgiveness are like conjoined twins with one heart...they can't be separated.