by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

Tender Mercy Makers (7 of 7)
Series: Vitamins (Gifts) that Make the Body Healthy
Jeff Strite
Romans 12:1-8

OPEN: I once read the true story of a preacher was organizing an evangelistic outreach using small acts of kindness to demonstrate Christ's love. He phoned several neighborhood grocery stores and Laundromats for permission to do specific services.

On one call, the employee who answered the phone hesitated, then said, ''I'll need to ask the manager, but first, let me make sure I understand: You want to clean up the parking lot, retrieve shopping carts hold umbrellas for customers, and you don't want anything in return.''
''Yes, that's right,'' the preacher replied.

After a few moments the employee returned to the phone.

''I'm sorry,'' he said, ''we can't let you do that because if we let you do it, we'd have to let everyone else do it, too!''

(Ann Jeffries, Kansas City, KS Christian Reader, ''Lite Fare.'')

Now, isn't that odd?
Here's a church that was willing to show God's love to a grocery store, and the store won't let them do it because they're afraid they'll have to let other groups do the same thing.

Now why did that store respond like that?
Because NO ONE does stuff like that!
This church was obviously out for something… an ulterior motive. And the grocery store was right. The church did have an ulterior motive - they wanted to reach their world for Christ and the tool they were using was something called ''showing mercy.''

Paul writes: ''We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is… showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.'' Romans 12:6 and 8

The first question that came to my mind was: what exactly IS mercy?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Mercy is:
2 a : a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion (that's what God does)
3 : compassionate treatment of those in distress (that's what people do).

Basically, mercy is the act of getting your hands dirty helping ...

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