Feeding Frenzy

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. —Matthew 5:7

People who study sharks tell us that they are most likely to attack when they sense blood in the water. The blood acts as a trigger to their feeding mechanism and they attack, often in a group, creating a deadly feeding frenzy. Blood in the water marks the vulnerability of the target.

Sadly, this is sometimes how people in the church respond to those who are hurting. Instead of being a community where people are loved, cared for, and nurtured, it can become a dangerous environment where predators are looking for the “blood in the water” of someone’s failings or faults. And then the feeding frenzy is on.

Instead of kicking people when they are down, we should be offering the encouragement of Christ by helping to restore the fallen. Of course, we’re not to condone sinful behavior, but our Lord calls us to display mercy. He said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matt. 5:7). Mercy has been described as not getting what we deserve, and we all deserve eternal judgment. The same God who shows us mercy in Christ calls us to show mercy to one another.

So when we see “blood in the water,” let’s seek to show mercy. The day may come when we will want someone to show mercy to us!

Lord, help us to be merciful
To those who fall in sin,
Remembering You rescued us
And cleansed us from within. —Sper

We can stop showing mercy to others
when Christ stops showing mercy to us.

Source:  Our Daily Bread

I met a young woman at a Women’s shelter’s open house.  She was a volunteer.  She told me that she was a single mother and used to attend a church.   She left the church because the members made her feel unwelcome because she had a child outside of marriage.  She joined another church of a different denomination.

I was shocked to hear about her experience. I couldn’t believe that they could be so unloving and unforgiving.  I’m sure that she wasn’t asking them to condone what she had done.  Pregnancy outside of marriage is not God’s will.  I think about the woman caught in adultery.  The people condemned her.  They wanted to stone her to death.  Jesus called them on their hypocrisy.  He told them that if there was any person among them who never committed any sins, he could throw the first stone.  Of course, there was no such person. They all had to back off.  They left Jesus and the woman alone.  Jesus didn’t condemn her.  He didn’t condone or excuse her sin but He showed her mercy.  It’s the same with the prodigal son.  His father didn’t condone or excuse his actions but he showed him love.  He forgave him.  He didn’t condemn him.  He didn’t make him feel bad.

If you are going through a similar situation, know that you are not alone.  Let these words of Psalm 3:3 give you strength.

But thou, oh Lord are a shield for me

My glory and the lifter of my head

Thou, oh Lord are shield for me
My glory and the lifter of my head

Don’t let the negative response of others shake your faith.  Hold on to that faith and the God who is your Rock.  Cling to Him until the feeding frenzy subsides.

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