Friday, November 13, 2009

Get Into Their Skin

For some nutty reason God has been sending me to the "Beatitudes" and "The Sermon On The Mount" over and over again. This week God led me to the verse below:

"Blessed are the merciful,for they will be shown mercy"
--Matthew 5:7

"Mercy is a hard word to pin down. Most people understand it as an odd mixture of compassion, grace, and forgiveness. But the Greek word for mercy, "eleos", refers to compassionate action: instead of turning a blind eye to the misery and misfortune of others, the merciful feel it in their bones and then are motivated to respond with action." --Mars Hill Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan

So how do we become "merciful"? One pastor suggested that we need to get into the skin of others. We need to see like them. We need to think like them. We need to feel like them. Don't understand the homosexual who lives across the street from you? Get into their skin. Don't like the old folks from the traditional service? Get into their skin. White folks drive you crazy? Get into their skin. No sympathy for Poor folks? Get into their skin. Are you scared of alcoholics, addicts and the homeless? Get into their skin. Think that Mormons and Muslims don't get it? Get into their skin.

Getting into their skin will mean much more than throwing money at them or praying for them. That's the easy way out. Getting into their skin will mean that you'll have to hang out with them. Spend time with them. Look into their eyes and listen to them. You can't get into the skin of others without acting, moving or doing. Getting into the skin of others has nothing to do with sitting on a pew or laying on the couch. Getting into the skin of others is all about "compassionate action".

"Those with "eleos" see the world differently. They see misery and misfortune in light of the grace they have received, and they respond compassionately out of the overflow of that same grace."--Mars Hill Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan

- Who's skin do you need to get into?

- Who's shoes do you need to step into?

- Who do you need to try to understand better?

Like Jesus did when He got off the throne of heaven to understand you and I.

A pastor's thoughts on "Mercy"? Click Here.

Want an example of "eleos" from the Bible? Read Luke 10:25-37

Want to hear the sharp words of Jesus for the "merciless"? Read Matthew 18:32-33


  1. LOVE that quote from Mars Hill Church. I've been shown grace beyond description.

    Funny, though. I can catch myself showing mercy to a stranger more readily than to those of my household. Because I love them deeply, they have the capacity to hurt me. The Lord reminds me that I need to show them grace as well.

  2. Thanks Bro. Praises to Our Father. The CEO and Founder of Compassionate Action, Inc.