Synonyms: Mercy implies compassion that forbears immediate punishment; charity stresses benevolence with tolerant good will and broad understanding of others; clemency implies a mild disposition by one having the power or duty to punish; grace implies a benign attitude and a willingness to grant favors or make concessions; lenity implies lack of severity in punishing.
Quote: Mercy is a quality of growth. You should realize that there is a great reward of personal satisfaction in first being just, next fair, then patient, then kind. And then, on that foundation, if you choose and have it in your heart, you can take the next step and really show mercy. — The Urantia Book (28:6.2,4)
Reflection: A person who has done a disservice, dishonor, or wrong will need to make up for this fact. One of the first steps is to apologize. But apology may not be enough. It may be necessary to perform some kind of compensation either to the individual or to the community.
When is the compensation complete? Has the person become one who would not do again what was done? Have they transformed themselves into a trustworthy person?
The person wronged needs to set aside their grievance to judge if the apology is sincere, and if so, accept it; then, in due time, grant forgiveness.
Comment: One of our current human definitions of mercy is to let someone off easy, even though they deserve punishment. This is not God’s way. He would not remove our opportunity to learn from our mistakes. One of the most sacred qualities we can acquire is responsibility. He knows we can learn to be accountable for our actions. We reap exactly what we sow – good or ill.