The portrait of a righteous person etched by Jesus in the Beatitudes is profoundly simple and simply profound. Beginning with a foundation of a right view of God, self, and sin, Jesus’ description moves to the proper use of one’s will and the proper focus of one’s passion. With these characteristics in place, He zeroes on having the right heart towards others (Matthew 5:7) and towards God (Matthew 5:8).
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).
Being merciful towards others is not the same as being casual or indifferent toward sin. Although it is quite challenging to wrap your head around, Jehovah is both holy and merciful (Psalm 103:1, 8). “Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yes, our God is merciful” (Psalm 116:5). His children are too.
To be righteous, a merciful person holds others accountable for their misdeeds but does so without being harsh, unkind, or demeaning. Jesus’ actions in John 8:2-11 is a textbook example of this.
To be righteous, a merciful person seeks to relieve another’s suffering. Jesus’ parable in Luke 10:25-37 is a perfect illustration of this.
To be righteous a merciful person sees Satan as his enemy and his fellow man as spiritual POWs. Jesus’ prayer from His cross in Luke 23:34 vividly demonstrates this.
To be righteous, a merciful person is spared the misery of living his life finding fault, bearing grudges, and nursing wounds. He will also enjoy the promise of mercy from the God who delights in mercy (Micah 7:18).