The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Mercy is unexpected love. It's undeserved forgiveness. It's unusual kindness in hard circumstances. Mercy is a leadership quality dictators deny, people need and God demands. Mercy changes the lives of its givers and receivers.
Because mercy is an invitation God will not refuse. He will come, and when He comes, He will bring His blessings with Him. 'Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy' (Matthew 5:7).
For Christians in leadership, consider one bottom line: however charismatic, prophetic, knowledgeable, faithful or sacrificing a leader may appear to be... his works mean nothing without love.* Mercy is the proof of love, and love is essential to God.
If mercy keeps our hearts soft, then action keeps our limbs strong. Because shepherds must tend, servers must feed, fisherman must cast, warriors must fight, disciples must travel, famers must plow and vines must produce. Jesus told us to do all of these things.
Good fruit is the proof of a leader's life: a life of love, mercy and service, a life which fulfills the purpose of our Lord:
'I am the true Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the Word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing' (John 15:1-5).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: dwell in these two features of your job description.
To Be Continued...
* 'If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing' (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Leadership series.