Mistakes are a part of every human life, and most of us would agree that we hope that the people around us will overlook our mistakes most of the time. It is our hope that people will show mercy to us, like God shows us mercy, unearned pardon for wrongs we have done. And not just God or our friends, but we hope we can talk our way out of tickets and other errors we make, and if we are kids, detentions, groundings, and other forms of punishments. Most of the time our attempts at talking our way into mercy seem to fail miserably, as many people will tell you after they pay for their traffic tickets. While these are usually punishments we have earned, is there something wrong with showing mercy? There shouldn’t be. When people around us make mistakes, whenever possible we should forgive them. Especially when there was no harm done…really.

For example, I was driving in the parking lot at Albertson’s on New Years Day, when a car coming across several rows of parking area pulled right out in front of me. It all happened so fast. In a flash of white she was right in front of me. Thankfully, there were no cars right in that area, and I wasn’t going very fast, so I was able to slow way down and move to the right to avoid the collision that seemed inevitable. As I looked into her very scared and totally apologetic expression, I thought of how many times I could have been in her shoes. No harm was done, so really what would be accomplished by making her feel stupid. Truly it would have done no good, and having been on the receiving end of a justifiably angry driver who had barely avoided hitting me, and yelled at me when I was then stuck at a red light, I decided I really didn’t want to put someone else through that, so I smiled a relieved smile, as did she, and we both went our way, feeling much better I’m sure.

We need to remember that since everyone makes mistakes, and we are sure to make them mistakes again some time, maybe we should allow some mistakes to slide sometimes, unpunished, offering instead mercy, even if we are right, and the mercy is undeserved, because at some point, we might receive the same kindness we have shown.

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