- They get “visited” in a way that promotes a spirit of entitlement in contrast to the gratitude that should well up in the hearts of every recipient of mercy (including our own). An indicator that this is happening is that the grace of God is not celebrated as it ought to be in either the giving or receiving.
- Because God’s mercy isn’t made much of, the glory tends to land on whoever is doing the “visiting.” We’re fellow sinners on our knees pleading for mercy, remember? Matt 10:7-8 says: “And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Matt 5:16 tells us to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Our giving is a way of pointing people to Jesus, a means of making much of Him, not of ourselves.
- The “deserving” idea also tends to keep us from giving cheerfully because we are quick to fall back into thinking about ourselves. Ask yourself, when you face something hard, are you quick to think “I don’t deserve this?” And on the flip side, when things are going well do you rejoice in God’s mercy or do you simply think life is going as it should? When we forget that the mercies of the LORD are new every morning for us, and fall into a “I deserve this or better” frame of mind, we are far more concerned about our own comforts and pleasures and safety and general well-being than we are about being instruments of God’s mercy in the lives of others with the hope that they too might taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Next time, we will look at Psalm 8 because God has made mankind a little lower than the angels, crowned us with glory and honor, made us to steward or have dominion over the rest of His creation...He is mindful of us and has visited us.