“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering.”
The first garment with which God wants us to clothe ourselves is “tender mercies.”
General meaning: compassion, pity, tender hearted. Empathy is the ability to identify with someone else and put ourselves in their place. “Tender mercies” is putting feeling into action and words. Literally, “tender mercies” mean bowels of sympathy. The people of the first century believed that emotions originated in the stomach. We have an idiom that says, “I have a feeling in my gut.” Do you allow your emotions to feel for others?
Mercy is grace in action. It means to appreciate grace in your soul.
“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy” (Phil. 2:1).
“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous” (I Pet. 3:8).
God wants us to be full of compassion, full of pity toward others. One of the garments God wants us to clothe ourselves with is the garment of empathy. Is your heart calloused toward others? Are you hardhearted toward people who hurt? Since we are the objects of mercy, we should show mercy (Lk. 6:36).
God expects us to clothe ourselves with empathy.
Clothes make the man. Clothes in Scripture signify character (Isa. 64:6). The church will be arrayed in fine linen. The first line of clothing God wants us to don is “mercy.”
The world is heartless today. It has become indifferent to suffering and hurt. We have become mechanical in our dealing with others.
We are a number in the information age. Computers do not deal with my name but my number. A computer cannot tell how I feel. I cannot tell the computer that it has made a mistake. It simply sends me a notice of billing and I pay it.
Even our medical doctors run patients through their offices without taking time to know them. Do you have a heart of compassion for those who are around you?
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).