Mercy is a self-less act rooted in love. It bears close kinship to grace. Both mercy and grace require undue acts of benevolence. Grace is defined as an unmerited favor. Mercy is an act of forgiveness spent on an undeserved party. Mercy is “compassion or forbearance showed especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power.” For the most part, for an act of mercy to be bestowed one party has to be the offender and the other the offended. However, mercy does not require an announcement of guilt from the offending party, but rather requires that the offended look beyond the offense.
Both grace and mercy are unmerited acts requiring intense power or inner strength. In a situation where mercy is bestowed the victim rises beyond a fault and becomes victor. Rather than calling for the exacting of justice the individual calls for the exaction of forgiveness or pardon on behalf of a party who is undeserving of the act. Mercy is perhaps the hardest action to bestow but is the most cleansing as it releases the victimized from being a slave to a writhing pain; the expectancy of guilt or shame from an offending party.
Mercy is an inward act of incalculable strength. It takes great power to show mercy especially when wronged. Mercy is the most powerful gift that one can receive because it is a priceless pardon that reaches beyond the depths of justice. Justice requires that the offender receive just reward for his or her offense. Justice requires that payment is received in full before one is pardoned. Justice is “the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments.
Mercy forgoes the penalty and liberates both the offender and the offended. Mercy demonstrates a depth and demonstration of love that is often undefinable by the mass. Mercy is not necessarily rational but is fruitful. The greatest illustration of mercy is that of someone giving of themselves for one whose action is utterly un-redemptive. The greatest demonstration of this was when Jesus submitted his life for the redemption of mankind. He paid a penalty that he did not exact for those who did not necessarily deserve justice or mercy. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” ( 1 Peter 1: 3).