“He who exhorts (encourages), to his exhortation; he who contributes, let him do it in simplicity and liberality; he who gives aid and superintends, with zeal and singleness of mind; he who does acts of mercy, with genuine cheerfulness and joyful eagerness. [Let your] love be sincere (a real thing); hate what is evil [loathe all ungodliness, turn in horror from wickedness], but hold fast to that which is good.”
Romans 12:8-9 AMP
That entire passage is so good. We could take each section apart and study it for days. But for this time together, let's focus on that one little phrase - "he who does acts of mercy, with genuine cheerfulness and joyful eagerness."
When I read that part, I immediately thought, "Does that describe me? Would those closest to me describe me that way?" Those around me know how much I care about people who go in the hospital or those who are in serious need of acts of mercy. For years, the minute I hear of something someone needs, I am on it as is our staff at our church. Simply put, we genuinely are a bunch of caring souls.
The question that came to me while studying this verse though was, "Is it with massive feelings of duty or with genuine cheerfulness that many of us show up on the scene with a cape for our act of mercy we plan to deliver in grand and glorious style?"
We all know marterers who are the first ones there with an S on their chests ready to serve and complain about it until next time they are needed. I remember years ago, standing in a circle of women who had just spent hours volunteering for a good cause. I listened as they slammed all those who had not been there to help that day, pontificating of how it's only us few who always do everything. You've stood in that circle I'm sure. And it is truly frustrating when we are the ones pulling a bulk of the weight and others sit by only to enjoy. It's true at our kids' schools, at church, even at work.
But this verse was a good reminder for me that if I plan to be a part of acts of kindness and mercy, God is only interested in my blood, sweat, and tears if I'm GENUINELY cheerful to do it. Let's determine together as many of us no doubt do acts of mercy constantly, to leave the cape at home next time and show up with eager joy. Eager means ready, excited, can't wait.
Just think how amazing our churches, schools and work places would be with people who showed up every single day doing this verse!!
Let's look for acts of mercy that have our names on them and show up ready, excited, and hardly able to wait to give a little joy into the situation at hand.
Ann Taylor Loft's current Christmas slogan on their store windows says it best...
Get H A P P Y 🎁 Give J O Y