Ever feel like that? It might be among the top ten sentiments in a messy marriage. And it makes complete sense, when you’ve given your spouse chance after chance to redeem him or herself and all they’ve done is disappoint you. In the middle of a mess, it seems to be the only self-preserving thing to do!
But you would be wrong!!
Okay, sorry about that! I realize that was a little over the top.
You see, I’ve been there. I’ve withheld mercy, and it felt good—at least for the moment. And, unfortunately, sometimes I live for the moment.
But I also know that a resentful moment is like eating a cholesterol-clogging Krispy Kreme donut. It’s so sweet and warm going down, but eat one too many and your “badonkadonk” is the size of Montana and your heart doctor is on speed dial. In other words, withholding mercy is hurtful to you, your spouse and your marriage.
God is the One who knows that and warns us over and over throughout the Bible to extend mercy to all those undeserving jerks out there who—you guessed it—blew it again. That’s because, we ALL blow it again and again. And I, for one, am so thankful that God extends his mercy to me over and over and over again.
I must admit, when I focus on God’s constant mercy to the mess that is me, it doesn’t seem quite so hard to extend mercy to other messy people in my life.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”–Matthew 5:7 (NIV)
For further reading on the subject, check out: Matthew 18:21-35