November 19, 2010

Grace vs Mercy

Posted in Christianity tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:46 am by Lisa Ritchey


I have heard that God’s grace is the ability to do what He calls us to do and mercy is His saving us and stuff even though we do not deserve it. I just always took it for granted that these definitions were true. It is 2:09 AM and I have just actually looked them up.

Grace, according to Strong’s Greek dictionary entry #5485 means graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life. In other words, acts that change us and
leave us gratified, and thankful.

Mercy, however, means compassion[1] which is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.[2]

God wants to do whatever is necessary for us to be whole.  “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”  (3 John 1:2)  This covers all areas of our lives.  He wishes us to live in peace.  The Old Testament word for this peace is Shalom.  Shalom means to be safe; have welfare, that is, health, prosperity, peace and comes from a root word shalam – A primitive root; to be safe (in mind, body or estate); figuratively to be (causatively make) completed.  It also means  to reciprocate (in various applications): – make amends, (make an) end, finish, full, give again, make good, (re-) pay (again), (make) (to) (be at) peace (-able), that is perfect, perform, (make) prosper (-ous), recompense, render, requite, make restitution, restore, reward,  surely.[3]

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27) The Greek word used here for peace is the word is eirēnē which means “Probably from a primary verb εἴρω eirō (to join); peace (literally or figuratively); by implication prosperity: – one, peace, quietness, rest, + set at one again.”[4]

This is God’s desire for us: to live in this peace and all He asks from us is… everything.  Jesus gave all He had for us: His life.  Should we not give Him the same?   I did and it is the best trade I will ever make.  Believe me, He is worth it!


[1]Strong’s Greek dictionary entry #1656

[2] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/compassion

[3]Strong’s Hebrew dictionary entry #7965

[4]Strong’s Greek dictionary entry #1515

© Lisa Ritchey 2010


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