“. . . to love mercy . . .” (Micah 6:8)

The word “mercy” in this verse is translated best as “kindness.” In fact, Moffatt translates the verse as saying “To be just and kind and live in quiet fellowship with God.” It sounds simple and easy, but it is not. It demands our best efforts and God’s help.

Kindness is so rare in our day that we need to define it. To be kind means to be affectionate, loving, sympathetic, helpful, forbearing, gentle, and to give pleasure or relief. At least five things are necessary to meet this requirement.

We must:

·        Be kind to each other, and forgive each other, as Christ forgave us.

·        Show mercy and compassion for each other, and don’t oppress or take advantage of the widows, fatherless, strangers, and poor. We who are strong ought to bear the infirmities of our neighbors. The word stranger applies to immigrants. God’s word tells us that we should treat them as if they were born here, and love them as we love ourselves (Leviticus 19:34).

·        Give to those who ask us, and loan to people.

·        Love our enemies.

·        Rejoice with people that rejoice and cry with those who are crying.

Remember that this instruction is not a helpful hint or a suggestion, but a requirement of Almighty God. Let us ask ourselves how well we are meeting it.

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com