Chapter Thirteen

Let's Talk About It:  Off My Mercy to Others

"O people, the LORD has already told you what is good, and this is what He requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."  (Micah 6:8)

1.  In Micah 6:8 we learn that God wants us to "love mercy."  How could you demonstrate this in your daily life?

2.  Tolerance and mercy are often confused. Explain the differences between them.

3.  Do you agree or disagree with this statement:  "Sometimes the hardest place to extend mercy is the area where God has given us the most mercy----our area of weakness."  Why?

4.  Read Matthew 18:23--35.  How do you respond when you read about the ungrateful servant?

5.  Peter thought he was being extremely generous with mercy when he asked if he should forgive someone seven times, and Jesus' response was a jaw--dropping "seventy times seven!" (Matthew 18:21,22).  What makes it hard for you to extend mercy?  What do you think would help you extend mercy more readily?

6.  What do you think are the personal benefits to you when you extend mercy to those who have hurt you?  Does extending mercy mean you are supposed to blindly trust them from then on?  Why or why not?

FOCUS ON GOD

Continue to review the statement and verse you wrote down last week, at least three times each day, to remind yourself of God's incredible mercy.

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God, because You are merciful, I

know that through Christ all my sins are forgiven.

"The Lord is full of compassion and mercy."  (James 5:11, NIV)

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Have other people sinned against you?  Are you holding onto the hurt and having a difficult time forgiving?  This week, make a list of the people it's hard to forgive and ask God to give you a heart of mercy and forgiveness as you focus on Him.

Now tear up the list and refuse to let them take up any more of your thoughts or emotional energy.  When they come to mind in the future, immediately change your focus by talking to God about them.  Turn those moments into reminders of your need to carry on a "continuous conversation" with the God of mercy.

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